2 in 3 Americans want vaccination warrant for domestic air travel, but Buttigieg says it won’t happen
AAsk if the United States should have a Covid-19 vaccine mandate for flights within the country, and a large majority of Americans consistently say yes, according to multiple surveys over several months.
The latest is a Harris Poll Covid-19 follow-up survey conducted last weekend, in which two-thirds of respondents (66%) said airline passengers should be required to provide proof of vaccination before to fly to the United States. This survey revealed strong majority support in all countries. gender, age groups and income levels, although it is most skewed among women (69%), millennials (69%) and those earning more than $ 100,000 per year (71% ).
Support for a vaccine mandate for domestic air travel has remained strong and stable since the summer, and has even increased. In a Harris Poll poll in early August, 64% of Americans supported the introduction of a vaccine passport for flying by plane. Those who “strongly supported” such an initiative outnumbered those who “rather supported” it by more than two to one.
Earlier this month, three dozen lawmakers called on President Joe Biden to add a vaccination requirement for domestic flights, to align with the requirement in place for international travelers entering the United States.
“This is a necessary and long overdue step to ensure that all Americans feel safe and confident when traveling and reduce the risk of another devastating winter wave,” said the letter sent by 36 Democratic members of Congress.
But over the weekend, US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg threw cold water on such a tenure during an interview on NBC’s “Meet the press.When asked why there was no vaccine warrant for passengers traveling within the United States, Buttigieg said “other strategies were very effective,” including requirements for of masks and vaccine warrants for workers in the travel industry, which “creates a very safe travel environment for Americans.”
“So it looks like you didn’t want to implement a vaccination mandate for domestic air travel,” Todd insisted. “Why not? Unless you’re nervous about doing something that’s politically divisive, I guess. But if we’re trying to end this pandemic, continuing to have some kind of loophole to avoid a vaccine seems to lengthen. this pandemic. ”
“What we’re doing right now is making air travel safe,” Buttigieg insisted. “Between masking and other mitigation measures, we are very confident in the safety of air travel.”
During much of the pandemic, U.S. airline executives and airline union leaders argued that any further restrictions on Covid-19 for domestic travelers would be bad for business, resulting in fewer people willing to take the plane and ultimately putting jobs at risk.
In August, United CEO Scott Kirby told MSNBC that a mandate for domestic travel was “logistically” and Delta CEO Ed Bastian told “CBS This Morning” that he hadn’t seen it happen in this country.
Yet since November 8, U.S. airlines have been verifying the Covid-19 vaccine credentials of travelers entering the country.
There is no national contact tracing program in place for airline passengers traveling to the United States, and no way for Americans traveling in the country to know if they may have been exposed to another passenger. infected with Covid-19.
This contrasts sharply with Canada, where contact tracing information for travelers has been readily available in a public database maintained by the Canadian government since the start of the pandemic. Data includes inbound and outbound international flights and all domestic flights within Canada.
When Canadian health officials receive a report that a recent traveler has tested positive, the flight is entered into the database. This allows recent travelers to check if someone on their flight has tested positive so they can watch for symptoms. (Canadians can also check out cruises and trains.)
Currently, the Canadian Database for International Flights shows that during the five-day period from November 8 to 12, at least eight flights from the United States carried passengers to Canada who subsequently tested positive. for Covid-19. These flights departed from a range of US airports – Miami, Chicago, Columbus, Seattle, Palm Springs, Los Angeles, Denver and Dallas – and were operated by Air Canada, Delta, WestJet, United and American.