This month, the debate over both corporate and federal vaccine mandates has taken to the skies as pilots vocally push back against the requirements.
Although President Joe Biden’s ongoing threats to require vaccination for companies employing over 100 people via the Department of Labor continue to inspire outrage, few have noticed that the mandate actually has yet to be established to the point of being enforceable by the department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
However, major airlines, which are considered federal contractors with cargo-hauling contracts and other relationships with the federal government, were already expected to adhere to a September executive order from the president that mandates vaccination for employees, and how and when the nation’s major airlines might require their employees to get the jab has been the topic of many a headline for a while now.
Now, just one week after the “weather” resulted in more than 1,000 Southwest Airlines flight cancellations amid rumors that pilots staged a “sick out” to protest the company’s mandate, the CEO of Delta Air Lines flat-out said he opposes the mandate and doesn’t need one to get his employees vaccinated.
What can I say? Freedom is in the air.
Delta CEO Ed Bastian told Fox Business’ “The Claman Countdown” last week that refraining from enforcing the “divisive” federal mandate for his employees has been an effective tactic and that the company is approaching a nearly 100 percent vaccination rate.
“The reason the mandate was put in by president, I believe, was because they wanted to make sure companies had a plan to get their employees vaccinated,” Bastian said. “A month before the president came out with the mandate, we had already announced our plan to get all of our people vaccinated. And the good news is the plan is working.”
He also stated the company will need to enact religious and medical exemptions to ensure that no one is facing termination over the mandate, according to Fox Business.
Do you support Delta’s move to resist the vaccine mandate?
“By the time we’re done, we’ll be pretty close to fully vaccinated as a company without going through all the divisiveness of a mandate,” Bastian explained. “We’re proving that you can work collaboratively with your people, trusting your people to make the right decisions, respecting their decisions and not forcing them over the loss of their jobs.”
Airlines have taken a public beating throughout the whole of the pandemic between the frequent viral videos of families getting kicked off flights over a toddler or special-needs child’s difficulty wearing a mask and the ongoing war drums of looming vaccine mandates.
So as you can imagine, Bastian’s revelation that the company has not had to enforce the federal mandate earned him quite a few points over on conservative Twitter.
Delta’s CEO says they’re ditching the vaxx mandate for employees… the first big company to DIRECTLY flout Biden’s dictate?!!! THIS IS WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT.
— Liz Wheeler (@Liz_Wheeler) October 16, 2021
In August, before the White House issued its requirement for federal contractors, Delta, along with Southwest and American, said it would not be requiring vaccines for its employees. JetBlue and Alaska Airlines announced earlier this month they will ensure that employees are in compliance with the order.
The Biden administration has been putting pressure on airlines to comply with its orders, and Delta previously said it was still “evaluating” the mandate.
Apparently, the result of that evaluation was that it is not necessary to ensure that its employees get the jab.
Southwest, meanwhile, announced last week that it would be requiring its employees to get the jab, which was followed by a spectacular weather event last weekend resulting in flight cancellations that seemed to somehow only impact one airline and none of the others.
ATC issues and disruptive weather have resulted in a high volume of cancellations throughout the weekend while we work to recover our operation. We appreciate your patience as we accommodate affected Customers, and Customer Service wait times are longer than usual. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/o1scQJ5lLb
— Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) October 9, 2021
After last weekend’s fiasco, Southwest’s CEO Gary Kelly admitted he doesn’t support the mandate, either, and blamed Biden for the pressure on his own company to require vaccination.
Southwest CEO blames Biden for vax mandate: “I’m not in favor of that, never have been. But the executive order from President Biden mandates that all federal employees, and then all federal contractors, which covers all the major airlines, have to have a mandate.” pic.twitter.com/TQs21CEMoG
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) October 12, 2021
“I’ve never been in favor of corporations imposing that kind of a mandate. I’m not in favor of that. Never have been,” Kelly told CNBC Tuesday.
“But the executive order from President Biden mandates that all federal employees and then all federal contractors, which covers all the major airlines, have to have a mandate in place by Dec. 8, so we’re working through that,” he explained.
“My goal, obviously, is that no one loses their job. The objective here, obviously, is to improve health and safety, not for people to lose their jobs,” the CEO added.
As evidenced by Delta Air Lines, it seems like there’s a pretty simple solution here: Do not comply with the federal mandate. This company seems to have realized what the federal government and dozens of other major corporations seem to have missed: There is nothing more fundamentally American than respecting an individual’s right to self-governance and Biden is not king over all here, people.
We’re the people.
Delta employees, like everyone else in the United States, have the right to make private decisions about vaccines entirely on their own, without the intrusion of government or their employer. The corporation is clearly determined to get all itsemployees vaccinated but has drawn an important line in the sand by affirming that the Biden administration is doing damage to our country with its dictatorial encroachments on medical freedom.
Other airlines and corporations would do very well to take note.
Southwest and United Airlines employees have already made it clear they plan to put up resistance — even if you buy the “weather” excuse for the canceled flights, pilots have sued to try to block the mandate, and United Airlines is currently locked in a legal battle with employees over vaccing requirements as well.
Meanwhile, over the weekend, 200 Boeing employees protested its mandate outside the company’s Everett, Washington facilities.
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) October 15, 2021
It’s certainly not just the airlines, either. Hospitals across the U.S. are seeing staffing shortages due to employees quitting or being fired over their non-compliance with vaccine mandates. Some of the nation’s most significant cities are facing mass resistance to mandates from police officers and firefighters, including as many as half of Chicago police officers who could be placed on leave over their refusal to disclose their vaccine status.
With the dictatorial behavior of the current administration, it’s easy to forget these days that we are a government of the people and for the people. Biden isn’t issuing royal decrees — he’s issuing controversial and dubiously constitutional mandates from just one branch of the federal government that is subject to several layers of accountability.
In addition to the courts and the legislature, this includes the people themselves — employees and CEOs of major companies, health care workers, and dedicated public servants all included.