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Atop the list of infectious diseases experts in the U.S., Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Sunday that removing masks on airplanes isn’t something we should even be thinking about, as hundreds of flights are still canceled around the country due to the spread of the Omicron variant. But this isn’t the worst of what he’s planning
He made the comment while answering Jonathan Karl’s question about mandating vaccinations for domestic air travel on ABC’s This Week.
‘Our goal is to ensure that people wear their masks. I think the idea of taking masks off, in my mind, is really not something we should even be considering,’ said Fauci.
Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines’ CEO, testified earlier this month at a Senate panel hearing that masks ‘don’t add much, if anything’ to protect airline passengers from spreading COVID.
‘And of course, the airline CEOs were suggesting that — you know, that we may not — may no longer need a mask. I hear you loud and clearly, you disagree with that on an — on the airplane,’
Dr. Fauci disagreed with the airline executive’s point of view and then suggested introducing a vaccination mandate for domestic and international air travel to increase the percentage of vaccines being rolled out across the country.
Every move Dr. Fauci is making is to destroy this nation from the inside out. He’s single handedly stripped away more freedom in our nations history than ever before.
“Anything that could get people more vaccinated would be welcome,” Dr. Anthony Fauci says when asked by @jonkarl about potential vaccine requirements for domestic air travel. https://t.co/UPSYdyW4BU pic.twitter.com/Uetl9DaBO7
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) December 27, 2021
Fauci added that ‘A vaccine requirement for a person getting on the plane is just another level of getting people to have a mechanism that would spur them to get vaccinated; namely, you can’t get on a plane unless you’re vaccinated, which is just another one of the ways of getting requirements, whatever that might be.’
‘So I mean, anything that could get people more vaccinated would be welcome. But with regard to the spread of virus in the country, I mean, I think if you look at wearing a mask and the filtration on planes, things are reasonably safe,’ he explained.
The number of Americans who have received both doses of the COVID vaccine is 204,740,321.
In the month of December, 62,211,823 Americans received a booster shot, or 30.4 percent of the total population.
On last week’s ABC program, Fauci expressed his skepticism that air travel won’t require masks in the future.
‘I think when you’re dealing with a closed space, even though the filtration is good that you want to go that extra step,’ he said. ‘When you have people, you know you get a flight from Washington to San Francisco, it’s a well over a five hour flight.’
‘Even though you have a good filtration system, I still believe that masks are a prudent thing to do and we should be doing it,’ Fauci stated.
Meanwhile, more than 700 domestic flights have already been canceled or delayed due to the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
Several airlines, including United, JetBlue, American, Alaskan, Delta and Southwest, have reported disruptions.
As a result of the disruptions, more than 7,300 flights were impacted Sunday, after 4,000 flights were canceled or delayed on Christmas Day, leaving travelers frustrated.
Speaking to USA Today, United spokesperson Maddie King said, ‘This was unexpected,’
Omicron variants have been cited as a cause of staffing challenges that led to disruptions at Delta, United, and JetBlue.
In addition to the busy travel schedule, airlines have been hard hit by the recent COVID outbreak, in which 151, 915 new cases were confirmed on Christmas Day, as well as 4,644 new Omicron cases.
As the ‘extraordinarily contagious’ Omicron variant spreads, Anthony Fauci, former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he expects coronavirus cases to continue to rise in the US.
“Well, there’s one thing that’s for sure that we all agree upon, that it is extraordinarily contagious,” Fauci said during an appearance Sunday on ABC News’ “This Week.” “It’s just outstripped even the most contagious of the previous ones, including Delta. There’s no argument on anybody’s part about that.”
President Joe Biden’s chief medical advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said that one of his administration’s top priorities is keeping people out of hospitals.
“The one that would be immediate is to make sure, given the rapid spread of this extraordinary variant, that we don’t get an overrun on hospitals, particularly in those regions in which you have a larger proportion of unvaccinated individuals,” he said.
He added: “We want to make sure that, given the sheer volume of number of cases that you see now, every day, it goes up and up — the last weekly average was about 150,000, and it likely will go much higher.”
According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were more than 176,000 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in the United States during the week ending December 22. According to CDC data, just over 121,000 people died a week earlier, on December 15.
An average of 93,000 new cases were reported one month earlier, on November 22.
In spite of evidence that the novel coronavirus produces a milder infection than previous variants, public health researchers say the new variant appears more transmissible than its predecessors. Yet experts have cautioned against taking this newly developed virus lightly.
“The issue that we don’t want to get complacent about, Jon, is that when you have such a high volume of new infections, it might override a real diminution in severity so that if you have many, many, many more people with less level of severity, that might kind of neutralize the positive effect of having less severity when you have so many more people,” Fauci told ABC News’ Jon Karl on Sunday.