Fauci on vaccine mandates for airlines: 'I don't see that immediately'

Fauci on vaccine mandates for airlines: 'I don't see that immediately'
© getty: Anthony Fauci

Anthony FauciAnthony FauciFDA advisory panel scheduled to discuss Merck COVID-19 antiviral pill Feehery: Build back bipartisan Overnight Health Care — Presented by The National Council on Mental Wellbeing — Merck asks FDA to authorize five-day COVID-19 treatment MORE said on Sunday that he does not anticipate vaccine mandates for domestic airline travelers any time soon. 

"It's always discussable. We always wind up discussing it," Fauci said on CNN's "State of the Union." "Right now, I don't see that immediately."

"I don't want to say support or not I think it's a decision that's made by input from a number of parts of the government, including public health," he added.

vaccine mandate for domestic air travel would likely be staunchly opposed by Republican lawmakers and the travel industry as such a mandate could be viewed as government overreach by the Biden administration. 

"I don't want to be weighing in, because we wind up then having people taking things out of context. We have everything on the table, and it will be discussed by the medical group," Fauci said on Sunday. 

He has, however, previously indicated some support for a possible mandate for airline travelers. 

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

U.S. Travel Association President Roger Dow has previously said that such a requirement would be "extraordinarily difficult" to impose, and Airlines for America, an advocacy group for major U.S. airports, has voiced similar concern over potential mandates surrounding domestic travel. 

“We have been informed that there is no imminent policy proposal regarding domestic travel, and echo concerns expressed by government about the implementation and enforcement of such a policy. We remain in communication with the Administration and continue to lean into science to guide policies that prioritize the safety and wellbeing of the traveling public,” the group said to The Hill last month.

Some airlines, including JetBlue Airways, Alaska Airlines and American Airlines, have announced that they will begin requiring that their employees be vaccinated. A similar mandate does not exist for domestic travelers. 

The U.S. does, however, require most foreign nationals to provide proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 upon arriving in the country.