U.S. Sen. Rick Scott appealed Monday to two organizations representing airlines to follow the lead of Southwest Airlines and abandon plans for COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
“I would like to applaud Southwest Airlines, which recently announced a reversal of its plan to punish unvaccinated employees. I urge your other member airlines to do the same. President (Joe) Biden’s mandates, like many of his failed domestic and foreign policies, have dubious legal authority and American companies should not be bullied by the Executive Branch to impose a vaccine mandate on their employees,” Scott asserted.
The letter to Airlines for America President Nicholas Calio and National Air Carrier Association President George Novak claimed airlines had done enough via mitigation, leaving no need for mandatory inoculations.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the commercial air travel industry has taken commendable steps to not become a vector of disease transmission thanks to effective safety protocols. With this track record of success in mitigating viral spread for airlines’ employees and customers before the COVID-19 vaccines were available, it makes no logical sense to now present the airlines’ hardworking employees with an ultimatum between involuntarily receiving a vaccine or having their employment terminated,” Scott advised.
The Senator has made variations of this case before regarding other industries with labor shortages, including truck driving. Earlier this month, he suggested his adopted father Orba Scott, who died in 2006, would have lost his job for not taking a vaccine.
“My adopted father was a truck driver. He’d be in high demand today,” Scott said. “But what does the Biden Administration want to do? They want to say that he wouldn’t get to keep his job if he had any concern about taking the vaccine. So if he had any concern about taking the vaccine, he would lose his job.”
Earlier in October, Scott castigated “Emperor Biden” for downplaying the impact of employees losing their jobs over not wanting to get vaccinated and “firing people.”
The state of Florida is moving toward a November Special Session that will attempt to offer state boundaries on federal vaccine mandates. Details are still emerging, but legislation that allows employers and students to opt out of vaccine and mask mandates will likely result.
Gov. Ron DeSantis, Scott’s successor in office, said the issue “can’t wait” for the regular Legislative Session in January.