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Dr. Fauci on considering air travel vaccine mandates: ‘That doesn’t mean it’s going to happen’

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Dr. Anthony Fauci appeared on CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer Monday, one day after turning some heads with his comments on vaccine mandates for air travel, while he was a guest on ABC News’ This Week.

ABC’s Jonathan Karl asked Fauci if he agreed with President Biden that there shouldn't be a vaccine requirement for domestic air travel.

“Well, it depends on what you want to use it for,” Fauci said. “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.”

On CNN Monday, Fauci had a chance to elaborate further when fill-in host Jim Acosta asked him about those and similar comments he has made recently on the subject.

“What I said, Jim, was that everything that comes up as a possibility, we put it on the table and we consider it. That does not mean that it is going to be likely to happen,” Fauci said. “Right now, I don’t think people should expect that we’re going to have a requirement in domestic flights for people to be vaccinated. When I was asked that question, I gave an honest answer. It’s on the table, and we consider it, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.”

Fauci, who is the chief White House medical advisor, went on to say that things would have to change dramatically for vaccine mandates to be seriously considered for domestic air travel. But when he was pressed further about how his stance on the issue compares to others in the White House, Fauci said it’s not about having a stance.

“Let's clarify that, Jim. I said that is something that’s open for consideration. It’s not a question of being in favor of it or not. I’m in favor of what we can do to keep the country safe,” Fauci said. “If the situation arise where that’s something we think should be important to do, we’ll do it. Right now, that’s not going to be done. But we never take anything off the table. We always keep things open for consideration.”

Video transcript

[MUSIC PLAYING]

JIM ACOSTA: You've been saying that vaccine mandates for domestic flights should be considered, should be seriously considered. Is that something that, uh, President Biden is seriously considering? Is it something the administration is considering?

KYLIE MAR: On CNN's "The Situation Room" Monday, fill-in host Jim Acosta caught up with Dr. Anthony Fauci, who told ABC News on Sunday that he doesn't necessarily agree with President Biden, who has stated that he is not in favor of vaccine requirements for domestic travel. However, on Monday, felt she had a chance to elaborate further.

ANTHONY FAUCI: When I was asked that question I gave an honest answer. It's-- it's on the table and we consider it, but that doesn't mean it's going to happen. I doubt if we're going to see something like that in the reasonably foreseeable future.

KYLIE MAR: Fauci, who is the Chief White House Medical Advisor, went on to say that things would have to change dramatically for vaccine mandates to be seriously considered for air travel. And when he was pressed further about his stance on the issue, Fauci said it's not about having a stance.

ANTHONY FAUCI: Let's clarify that, Jim. I said that it's something that's open for consideration. It's not a question of in favor of it or not. I'm in favor of what we can do to keep the country safe.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

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