Democratic Congressman Ritchie Torres unveiled a legislative effort to ban Americans opting to not get vaccinated against COVID-19 from taking domestic and international flights.
The New York Congressman sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) lobbying the agencies to only allow Americans vaccinated against COVID-19 on domestic and international flights.
He introduced a complementary bill in the House necessitating that “any individual traveling on a flight that departs from or arrives to an airport inside the United States or a territory of the United States is fully vaccinated against COVID–19.” It has since been referred to the Committee on Homeland Security, where he serves as the Vice-Chair.
“The TSA never allows people to enter planes or airports with a weapon, and the delta variant is a weapon,” Torres remarked. “It is a threat to everyone in an airport and everyone on a plane,” he added in defense of the bill.
Torres launched his campaign just days after former Obama administration official Juliette Kayyem wrote a controversial Atlantic op-ed calling for a “no-fly list” for Americans unvaccinated against COVID-19.
“The White House has rejected a nationwide vaccine mandate—a sweeping suggestion that the Biden administration could not easily enact if it wanted to—but a no-fly list for unvaccinated adults is an obvious step that the federal government should take,” wrote the former Assistant Secretary for Homeland Security.