The Biden administration remains reluctant to take a position on mandatory vaccinations and testing for domestic travel. That was the impression left by spokesman Jen Psaki’s ambiguous response at a press conference last Friday.
“We are always looking for what we can do to protect and save lives.” That’s all she said when asked whether President Biden would consider a vaccine mandate for domestic flights.
In recent weeks, lawmakers in different states have expressed the need to enforce the vaccination test or the Covid-19 test for interstate travel.
“Many people thought that after we received the vaccine, everything would be fine. The pandemic would end and we would be back to normal”, lamented Deputy Dina Titus (D-Nev.). “Well, we’re not back to normal.”
As part of an integrated strategy to reduce the multiple impacts of the pandemic, last Thursday, Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) revealed legislation called “the Safe Travel Law”To require all Amtrak US rail and air travelers, employees, contractors and subcontractors to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to allow boarding.
Beyer brought in United Airlines ‘ (UAL.O) decision to require crew members to take the Covid-19 test or face termination, as an example below.
“Americans want a return to normal that includes traveling for business or pleasure, and Congress can help make people comfortable traveling again by setting basic requirements that prevent the spread of COVID,” Beyer said in a statement.
Who is pro and who is against
Last week, Fox News published a Gallup Search showing that about 61% of Americans would support the application of a vaccine or testing requirement for domestic travel.
However, support does not come in equal numbers when it comes to Democrats and Republicans, as well as vaccinated and unvaccinated.
About 96% of vaccinated Democrats and 48% of vaccinated Republicans would support the new policy.
On the other hand, 66% of unvaccinated Democrats and 12% of unvaccinated Republicans would agree.
American Airlines Group Inc. CEO Doug Parker told the New York Times about the logistical difficulties the policy would bring to domestic travel if passed.
“Even if we decided it’s something we want to do, it would be incredibly complicated to do within the United States,” he said. “It would not be physically possible to do without huge delays in the airline’s system,” added Parker.