White House Won’t Rule Out Requiring COVID-19 Vaccination For Interstate Travel
Washington D.C. – One day after announcing sweeping new COVID-19 vaccination requirements on private businesses, the White House is not ruling out requiring similar measures for interstate travelers.
At a press briefing on Friday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked if the Biden Administration could soon require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for interstate and air travelers.
“We are always looking at more we can do to protect and save lives,” Psaki said. “Obviously, [President Biden] made a significant and bold announcement yesterday, so I don’t have anything to predict or preview for you, but we’ll continue to look for ways to save more lives.”
The White House has been eyeing such measures for some time now.
The Associated Press (AP) reported last month that officials in the Biden Administration favor imposing interstate travel restrictions but have resisted thus far over concerns such actions “would be too polarizing at this time.”
“That’s not to say they won’t be implemented in the future, as public opinion continues to shift toward requiring vaccinations as a means to restore normalcy,” the AP report states. “White House officials say Biden wanted to initially operate with restraint to ensure that Americans were ready for the strong-arming from the federal government.”
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was asked about the issue during an appearance on CNN in April and ruled out such a mandate.
“We don’t view this as the role of the government to create or mandate any kind of vaccine passport,” he said.
Psaki’s refusal to rule out a vaccine mandate for interstate travelers come as trucking stakeholders are grappling with a newly issued Executive Order forcing businesses with 100 employees or more to require its workforce to take the vaccine or test weekly.
While truckers employed by larger carriers are certainly not exempt from the presidential order, members of Congress and migrants who illegally cross the U.S. southern border are.
Read more about that HERE.
Psaki was asked about the glaring double standard of Friday but quickly moved on from the question.
TransportationNation.com will continue to track the issue closely.