Fauci: Vaccines should be required for air travel

Dr. Anthony Fauci
Photo credit Getty Images | Win McNamee/Staff

Should airplane passengers be placed under a sweeping vaccination mandate? Dr. Anthony Fauci believes they should.

The chief medical advisor for all things COVID-related for both previous President Donald Trump and current President Joe Biden offered his opinion on the matter during an interview with The Skimm.

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"I would support that if you want to get on a plane and travel with other people that you should be vaccinated," Fauci said.

While Biden has put a number of other vaccine mandates into place, issuing a vaccination requirement for all air travel has not been put forth as of yet. However, White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients was careful to not rule anything out as they determine their next move in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus.

"Overall, I think we have a … very strong track record that shows we're pulling available levers to acquire vaccinations and we’re not taking any measures off the table," Zients said Friday at a briefing.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki was also asked about the possibility of a vaccine mandate for air travelers. "We are always looking at more we can do to protect and save lives. Obviously, he made a significant and bold announcement yesterday, so I don't have anything to preview – predict or preview for you, but we’ll continue to look for ways to save more lives,” Psaki said.

An air-travel vaccine mandate wouldn’t be out of the ordinary: There’s already a requirement to get vaccinated before boarding an airplane in America’s northern neighbor Canada. It’s also essentially a requirement for international travel leaving the States because many countries won’t let travelers in without proof of vaccination, so a new mandate would only affect domestic air travel in the U.S.

So far though, the Biden administration has not taken that step.