Dems seek domestic travel vaccine mandates; Swalwell says 100% 'batty' unvaccinated can fly
"It’s unsafe in the cabin and we are transporting the virus," Swalwell said.
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Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., called it "batty" that unvaccinated people are allowed to fly on airplanes and signed a letter asking the government to institute COVID-19 vaccine mandates on domestic airplane passengers.
Tweeting on his Bay Area flight Sunday, Swalwell said “it is one-hundred percent batty that the unvaccinated are allowed to fly. It’s unsafe in the cabin and we are transporting the virus. Requiring the vaccine to fly is the LEAST we can do to stop the spread."
He followed up hours later blaming Republicans for vaccine hesitancy. "We are hurtling toward a Covid blizzard. And you should be pissed we are back at this. But aim your anger entirely at the lies America’s leaders have told to inspire an unvaccinated culture. I’m looking at you @GOPLeader McCarthy," he tweeted.
This is not the first time Swalwell has suggested vaccines to fly. Last week he tweeted, "Prediction: we can go from 60% Americans vaxxed to 80% if we require vaccines to fly." He made the same suggestion on Twitter numerous times in September, October and November.
Swalwell joined Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., and Rep. Ritchie Torres, D-N.Y., in a letter asking the Biden administration to require all domestic air travelers to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test.
"Requiring proof of vaccination or a negative test for domestic flights would improve public health and address concerns that passengers have about flying," the Democrat lawmakers write. The group claims two-thirds of Americans support the measure in an unnamed survey.
"International travelers arriving in the United States must already submit COVID-19-related documentation to airlines before boarding their flight, and airlines are demonstrating they have the capacity to implement these vaccine and testing requirements," the lawmakers urged.
Feinstein introduced legislation in September that would require airlines to implement the vaccine mandates.
The letter would likely face opposition from airlines.
At a Senate hearing last week, CEOs from Southwest Airlines and American Airlines argued that masks were unnecessary on planes due to air filtration systems.
"I think the case is very strong that masks don't add much, if anything, in the air cabin environment," Southwest CEO Greg Kelly told the Senate Commerce Committee.
"An aircraft is the safest place you can be," American CEO Doug Parker added.