With the omicron variant triggering a new spike in U.S. Covid-19 cases, White House chief medical advisor Anthony Fauci is once again expressing his support for a federal vaccine mandate for domestic commercial air travel.
Speaking Monday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” show, Fauci said such a mandate could lead more people to get vaccinated. He likened requiring vaccination for domestic air travel to universities and and companies requiring students and employees to be vaccinated.
“When you make vaccination a requirement, that’s another incentive to get more people vaccinated,” he said. “If you want to do that with domestic flights, I think that’s something that seriously should be considered.”
Currently 72.6% of U.S. adults are fully vaccinated. The vaccination rate among individuals 5 and older is 65.6%, according to the CDC.
Covid case counts have spiked to a seven-day U.S average of more than 200,000 per day.
Fauci declined to say whether he would formally recommend an air travel vaccine mandate to President Biden.
“Because if the president doesn’t do it, I don’t want to make it look he’s going against it,” he said.
Fauci first spoke publicly in favor of a domestic air travel vaccine mandate in September.
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