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.

"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.