Democrats Implore Biden Officials to Create Vaccine Rules for Domestic Flights

Four Democratic lawmakers wrote a letter to Biden officials urging them establish vaccine requirements for domestic travel within the United States.

In their letter, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D.California), Ritchie Torres and Reps. Don Beyer. people seeking to travel within the U.S. should be required to provide proof of vaccinationor a negative COVID-19 test, before being allowed on a plane. The letter was addressed to Rochelle Wilensky, Head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Steve Dickson Administrator of Federal Aviation Administration, FAA.

The lawmakers cited the Omicron variant COVID-19 as a reason for their concern. This strain is more transmissible than any other virus strain.

“Travel at our nation’s airports has essentially returned to pre-pandemic levels but the risk from COVID-19, including from its new variant Omicron, continues to present a major public health threat,” the lawmakers said. “Requiring proof of vaccination or a negative test for domestic flights would improve public health and address concerns that passengers have about flying.”

According to the Democrats, most Americans support this proposal. In a Harris Poll conducted last monthRespondents surveyed by 66 percent said that domestic travelers should show proof of vaccination before they are allowed to board a plane.

Swalwell posted his concerns about his flight from Australia to California on Twitter this week.

“On a flight now to Bay Area and it is one-hundred percent batty that the unvaccinated are allowed to fly,” Swalwell wrote. “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.”

The Democrats who wrote the letter aren’t the only lawmakers who support the idea of requiring proof of vaccination for domestic travel. In November, 36 Democratic legislators (including the four that wrote this week to Walensky or Dickson) supported the requirement of proof of vaccination for domestic travel. made a similar appeal directly to President Joe Biden.

“This is a necessary and long overdue step toward ensuring all Americans feel safe and confident while traveling and reduce the chances of yet another devastating winter surge,” they said.

Many countries are represented around the globe require proof of Covid vaccination statusDomestic travel includes Canada, the United Kingdom (EU), and many countries in the Middle East or Asia. Hawaii is the only U.S. State that requires passengers with a valid vaccination certificate to travel from any other part of the country.

An opinion piece The San Francisco ChronicleRoger Rapoport, an aviation writer, suggested that there be could be another benefit to vaccine requirementson planes: Such mandates could reduce violent outbursts’ high rate reported on planes over the past year.

“I don’t think it’s a stretch to suggest that a quick study of those being prosecuted for attacking flight crews over mask mandates and attempting to pack heat on board would indicate that many of these angry passengers are unvaccinated,” Rapoport said. “If I’m right, the White House would have another compelling reason to require domestic travelers to show proof of vaccination.”