Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases and a White House medical adviser, said during a podcast appearance Thursday that he supports mandating vaccinations for airline passengers.
Fauci told news site theSkimm that he would support such a policy should it be implemented.
"I would support that," Fauci said when asked if he would support vaccine mandates for airline travel. "If you want to get on a plane and travel with other people, you should be vaccinated."
In an interview with The Washington Post on Monday, Fauci clarified that while he supports such a plan, he has not proposed it to the White House.
"It's on the table; we haven't decided yet," he said. "But if the president said, 'You know, let's go ahead and do it,' I would be supportive of it."
Last week, Biden announced he was taking steps to ensure large employers and health care companies mandate that their employees be vaccinated. In introducing those policies, Biden also noted that the Transportation Safety Administration would double fines for passengers who refuse to wear masks in airports and on commercial flights — but he stopped short of requiring vaccines.
"So he hasn't taken the step of mandating vaccines," Fauci told The Washington Post.
According to The New York Times, fines for violating mask policies now come in at a minimum of $500. Second-time violators could be fined as much as $3,000.
Some airlines like United have required employees — but not passengers — to get vaccinated. Other airlines like Delta have taken steps to incentivize employees to seek out a shot.
Several cruise lines, including Carnival and Royal Caribbean, are now requiring all adults to be vaccinated before boarding their ships.