A new bill in Congress would limit air travel to only vaccinated individuals. Action Alert!
The bill seeks to “ensure that any individual traveling on a flight that departs from or arrives to an airport inside the United States” is fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This is precisely the kind of discrimination we were talking about in our Right to kNOw campaign— protecting people with autoimmune disorders who have a legitimate medical reason to choose not to vaccinate. This bill is a direct assault on the freedom of millions of Americans, and it must be stopped.
The breadth of this bill is astounding. It is a vaccine mandate for anyone who travels for work, anyone who travels out-of-state to see family or friends, anyone who travels to see a healthcare specialist, etc. This outrageously coercive mandate doesn’t just affect our right to travel. It is an assault on our personal autonomy and cannot stand.
We must act now to stop this bill in its tracks. Pfizer looks poised to receive full approval for its COVID vaccine by early September. It is widely thought that once one of the COVID vaccines receives full approval from the FDA, the floodgates will be open for vaccine mandates at all levels: colleges, businesses, employers, state employees, etc.
Safety can be maintained without a vaccination requirement. Negative COVID tests, masking, and other measures have been taken for months to protect the safety of air travelers. Further, all COVID vaccines currently in use have reduced effectiveness against the Delta variant that is the dominant strain now. As of July 30th, there have been at least 125,000 fully-vaccinated Americans who have tested positive for COVID; the total number of breakthrough cases is surely higher, since many are asymptomatic. We might know more, but the CDC stopped tracking much of this data, relying on individual states to report breakthrough cases. This is to say that vaccination status is not a guarantee that an individual is not infected and capable of spreading the virus to other passengers.
And what about those who have already had COVID and have acquired natural immunity? These individuals would have to submit to COVID vaccination, for which there the risk of serious adverse reactions with little benefit. Additionally, as explained by a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, vaccination confers a type of immunity that reduces your likelihood of serious illness or death from contracting COVID. It doesn’t make you less likely to spread it. In people who have actually contracted COVID, the mucous membranes release antibodies to protect the nose and mouth, and this helps reduce viral spread. COVID vaccination is largely ineffective at stimulating this secretion of antibodies in the nose. Vaccinated individuals, then, can contract the virus and not get sick, but they can carry the virus in the nose which can spread easily to others.
To sum up: those who have acquired natural immunity and are less likely to spread the virus would be banned from air travel, and those who are vaccinated but more likely to spread the virus compared to those with natural immunity are permitted to fly. This makes no sense.
We cannot let this exercise in government paternalism go any further. Click the button below to tell your representatives to forcefully oppose this terrible bill.
Action Alert! Write to Congress and urge them to oppose HR 4980. Please send your message immediately.