Dr. Anthony Fauci believes that vaccination and mask mandates during domestic travels can help lessen the increasing number of omicron cases in the country.
During a recent interview, Fauci said that requiring travelers to get vaccinated can be an incentive for those that don't want to get inoculated to get the jab finally.
The health expert acknowledged that Joe Biden hasn't announced vaccination mandates for domestic travels but said that the POTUS and other state leaders should consider it.
"When you make vaccination a requirement, that's another incentive to get more people vaccinated. If you want to do that with domestic flights, I think that's something that seriously should be considered," he said via the Huffington Post.
Dr. Anthony Fauci wants mask mandates to be imposed
During another interview, Fauci said that travelers should also be required to wear masks on planes even though most aircraft already have advanced filtration systems.
He also said that omicron spreads rapidly across the United States, and the only way to prevent the virus from spreading is by imposing vaccination and mask mandates. After all, no one wants to announce another hard lockdown on any of the states.
Fauci also expressed concerns for the unvaccinated individuals because even if omicron is less severe, the number of confirmed cases per day can threaten hospitals and other healthcare facilities.
The health expert later clarified that a vaccine mandate wouldn't be imposed anytime soon. But the idea is on the table, and they are considering it to help prevent the spread of omicron in the United States, according to Axios.
Travel industry opposes vaccine mandates for domestic flights
But according to CNBC, the travel industry expressed their opposition to vaccine mandates for domestic air travel when Fauci made a similar suggestion in September.
As of press writing, travelers are already required to wear masks to board planes, and they cannot remove them throughout the duration of the flight.
International travels are required to show proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test to be able to board a US-inbound flight.
Omicron is the dominant strain in the US
Omicron is also the most dominant strain in the United States, and it will continue to be the most dominant strain in the coming weeks or even months.
The first case of omicron was detected in the United States in November, and the numbers have been growing since then.
As of late, there are hundreds of confirmed omicron cases in the country. Earlier this month, 32 states already detected the variant, and the figures have only risen in recent weeks.
According to Deseret, at least one active omicron case has been detected in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and more.
Michael Osterholm, director for the Center of Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, said that the country would continue to experience a viral blizzard in the next three to eight weeks. And the thousands of Americans with omicron can reach millions.