Source: Contributing Author

The White House admitted this week that it would consider requiring proof of vaccination against COVID-19 for all domestic travelers in the U.S., “if the health impact is overwhelming.”

During an interview with MSNBC, White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked: ‘Why isn’t a vaccination requirement for domestic travel part of the president’s plan during this COVID surge?”

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“That’s a good question,” Psaki replied. “I think it’s one we get asked pretty frequently. It’s because we know that masking can be — is very effective on airplanes. That’s a restriction that we’ve also increased the fines on so we know that people are wearing masks, more people are wearing masks.”

However, there is no evidence confirming that masking on airplanes is at all effective. In fact, two airline CEOs said during a congressional hearing that they don’t think “masks … add much, if anything, in the air cabin environment.”

“It is very safe and very high quality compared to any other indoor setting,” said Southwest CEO Gary Kelly.

American Airlines CEO Doug Parker agreed: “I concur,” he said. “An aircraft is the safest place you can be. It’s true of all of our aircraft — they all have the same HEPA filters and airflow.”

Psaki admitted that placing restrictions on domestic travel might delay flights and have “additional implications.”

“We would do it, though, if the health impact was overwhelming,” she admitted. “So we rely always on the advice of our health and medical experts. That isn’t a step at this point that they have determined we need to take.” 

Just last month, Psaki dismissed the idea of restricting domestic travel to only vaccinated Americans, saying that such a policy was not something President Joe Biden wanted to enact.

“[Biden] wasn’t taking any options off the table, but he’s going to rely on the advice of his health and medical experts,” Psaki said at the time.