As Southwest Airlines and its passengers continue to deal with hundreds of suddenly canceled flight amid speculation the turmoil is related to the airlines’ vaccine mandates going into effect this fall, “The Five” discussed whether President Biden’s September edict has any legal teeth, and why the airline initially blamed the cancelations on bad weather in an otherwise meteorologically calm United States.
The Texas-based airline and its pilots’ union denied any connection between the situation and the company’s mandate that employees be administered the coronavirus vaccine shot.
Host Jesse Watters noted that U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has jurisdiction over air travel, but has been noticeably absent as the chaos intensified:
“Mayor Pete is going to have his hands full [as the holidays approach] – he’s in charge. Where is Mayor Pete? All this labor action before the holidays and Christmas?” he said of the Indiana Democrat.
Watters said the vaccine mandate which Biden announced in a national address in September is a “mirage” because it has yet to be formally written, reviewed by the necessary bureaucracies and given time to be implemented:
“The rule has never been written. It might not be written. Once it’s written, it has to go through lawyers and then once it’s established, there are six months until companies have to do anything,” he said, adding that Southwest and others requiring the jab did so based on something still in the abstract:
“[T]he companies fell in line over a press release, over a threat. Now you’re seeing the results of that threat,” he said.
Watters added that a Southwest employee in California told him she was about to be fired after 23 years because she will not submit to the vaccine injection.
“She said a lot of the other people, the other people at the other airlines, they are giving religious exemptions. American Airlines [is because] they want to keep people. Southwest is not doing that. They are being real tough with that, and she actually predicted that there was going to be action taken to have something like this happen,” he said.
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“The next day, Monday, look what happens.”
Host Dana Perino later noted of Southwest’s initial weather claim that it is no longer the 1980s when an airline could cancel because of weather and the ridership would have to take the assertion at face value. Today, she said, we have cell phones and internet connections that can reveal whether the weather is as problematic as advertised.
Later, host Greg Gutfeld said many of the airline employees and those elsewhere who are being laid off or fired because they won’t submit to the shot are not doing so from a position of politics, but simply personal choice or consideration:
“It’s about their families and the decisions they want to make about their bodies,” he said.
“But when the left introduces politics, it becomes a prison of two ideas – you’re either for it or you’re against it.”
Source: Fox News