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Supreme Court May Halt Covid Mandates - Except For Flights
Vaccination-To-Fly Rule Would Avoid Legal Problems, Yet Be Effective
That why Biden should consider a rule which largely avoids the many legal problems these rules have raised.
He suggests a rule requiring adult airline passengers to be vaccinated, or to provide proof of a recent negative COVID test. Such a rule would provide additional necessary protection for airline passengers, while also creating a strong additional incentive for people to be vaccinated.
An agency which has required passengers to wear cloth masks while flying - which even the CDC now agrees are largely ineffective - in order to protect other passengers from becoming infected with Covid can certainly adopt a vaccination requirement which many experts say would provide much greater protection.
Indeed, an agency which has adopted now-settled rules requiring passengers to wear masks, and to refrain from smoking for lengthy periods or consuming their own alcoholic beverages, and also requires them to provide governmental issued photo identification, not carry many arguably dangerous items with them, subject themselves to intrusive inspections, and to obey all crew instructions or face prison, can certainly also require vaccination, he argues.
Such a rule would also fall squarely within the federal government's authority to regulate interstate commerce, and would be far less intrusive than rules which threaten the employment of most Americans.
Moreover, its adoption now would be more than justified by the greatly increased risk posed to airline passengers by the highly contagious Omicron variant.
While requiring all but the youngest passengers to be fully vaccinated would provide the greatest protection, such a rule could do one or more of the following if necessary to reduce public opposition, the professor suggests:
1. Apply the rule only to adults, thereby exempting older children eligible to be vaccinated, but as to whom vaccination rates are much lower than with adults.
2. Provide, at least initially, that passengers need to have received only one shot - thereby permitting them to change their minds quickly to fly in the event or an emergency or for other sudden need.
3. Treat passengers who have recovered from Covid the same as those who have been vaccinated - as dozens of countries do in enforcing their often-more-intrusive vaccination requirements.
Banzhaf has reminded Biden's Covid advisors that Canada and France have required passengers to be vaccinated even on domestic flights.