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Supreme Court Opens Door For Shot-To-Fly Rule
Biden Has The Legal Authority to Require Airline Passengers to Be Vaccinated
Yesterday's ruling is important because it makes clear that the President has the legal authority to issue valid orders protecting flyers from infection by Covid, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf.
A new shot-to-fly order would be a dramatic step which is especially needed now that Biden's primary weapon against Covid - the large-company-
Banzhaf notes that both Canada and France have long required both domestic and international airline passengers to be vaccinated, that many European and other countries have rules which are far more intrusive and disruptive for the unvaccinated, that experts have debunked the claim that a vaccination requirement would cause undue delays or disruptions, and that a recent poll showed that some 95% of the American public favored such a rule.
Requiring airline passengers to be vaccinated or have a recent negative test would provide the additional protection flyers now need because of the very high transmissability of the Omicron variant. It would also provide a much needed incentive for many millions of Americans to be vaccinated, while not being anywhere near as intrusive as requiring vaccination in order to keep a job, go to a theater or sporting event, or even to visit a restaurant or bar.
While an order requiring all eligible passengers to be fully vaccinated would provide the most protection, Banzhaf notes that, if and to the extent necessary to increase public acceptance, the order could:
1. apply only to adults, and exempt all children even if they might be eligible to be vaccinated
2. require, at least initially, only one shot, thereby not forcing people to wait weeks to fly, especially unexpectedly and/or because of an emergency
3. treat persons who have recovered from Covid as if they were vaccinated, as many dozens of European and other countries do in applying their vaccination requirements.
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