HomeHealth Care NewsFauci Eyes Permanent Mask Rule for Air Travel

Fauci Eyes Permanent Mask Rule for Air Travel

The American public will never stop wearing masks on airplanes, says Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House chief medical advisor.

ABC News This Week host Jonathan Karl asked Fauci if we will ever reach a time where we don’t have to wear masks on airplanes, on December 19.

“I don’t think so,” said Fauci said. “I think when you’re dealing with a close space, even though the filtration is good, that you want to go that extra step.”

Despite his certitude as to the nation’s most visible health official, Fauci’s comments put him at odds with a 2020 study conducted for the Department of Defense (DoD) by American Airlines on airline travel. The study found that when seated with a mask on, “only 0.003% of particles actually made their way into another passenger’s breathing zone.”

‘Masks Don’t Add Much’

Karl’s interview with Fauci occurred shortly after several CEOs from top U.S. airlines testified before Congress that passengers are actually safer on a plane than in an intensive care unit because of the filtration systems on flights.

“The case is very strong that masks don’t add much, if anything, in the air cabin environment,” said Gary Kelly, CEO of Southwest Airlines, at a hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation, on December 15. “It is very safe and high-quality compared to any other indoor setting,” Kelly said.

American Airlines CEO Doug Parker agreed. “An aircraft is the safest place you can be,” said Parker. “It’s true of all of our aircraft—they all have the same HEPA filters and airflow.”

Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) responded that he was “shocked” by their suggestion that masks are no longer needed on airplanes.

Masks ‘Make People Feel Safer’

Mask mandates for jet travel aren’t about safety, says Jay Lehr, senior science analyst at the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow.

“Extensive research has never shown masks to be effective as a control of the various viruses now plaguing the world,” said Lehr. “They may make people feel safer, but they are not,” said Lehr. “Their most important effectiveness is proving to government that it can control the population and take personal freedom away based on unwarranted fear.”

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has extended the current face mask requirement for U.S. travelers at airports, on commercial aircraft, buses, and trains to last through September 13, 2022.

Kenneth Artz (KApublishing@gmx.com) writes from Dallas, Texas.

Internet Info:

U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation, “Oversight of the U.S. Airline Industry,” December 15, 2021: https://www.commerce.senate.gov/2021/12/commerce-committee-announces-airline-industry-hearing-on-december-15-2021

“TSA extends face mask requirement at airports and throughout the transportation network,” National Press Release, April 30, 2021: https://www.tsa.gov/news/press/releases/2021/04/30/tsa-extends-face-mask-requirement-airports-and-throughout

David Silcott et al., “TRANSCOM/AMC Commercial Aircraft Cabin Aerosol Dispersion Tests,” United States Transportation Command & Air Mobility Command (AMC), October 2020: https://www.ustranscom.mil/cmd/docs/TRANSCOM%20Report%20Final.pdf

 

 

Kenneth Artz
Kenneth Artzhttps://www.heartland.org/about-us/who-we-are/kenneth-artz
Artz has more than 20 years’ experience in nonprofit organizations, publishing, newspaper reporting, and public policy advocacy.

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