Fauci: No vaccine mandates on domestic flights for now, but everything 'on the table'

The NIAID head has previously expressed his support for the idea of vaccine mandates on U.S. flights
Anthony Fauci, May 26
Anthony Fauci, May 26

Dr. Anthony Fauci says he does not expect a vaccine mandate for Americans flying domestically in the near future.

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

Fauci first floated the idea of vaccine requirements for domestic flights last month during an appearance on NBC's Meet the Press, and has since said he would support the idea during various media interviews. But he sounded a slightly different tune over the weekend.

"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 said.

"I don’t want to be weighing in, because we wind up then having people taking things out of context," he said, adding the relevant bodies "have everything on the table."

Several major U.S. airlines are requiring that their U.S. employees be vaccinated against COVID-19, including American Airlines, JetBlue, United, and Southwest. In late September, United Airlines – the first of the major airliners to make COVID vaccines a requirements – said it was prepared to terminate hundreds of employees who chose not to take the shot.