Although hundreds of flights have been canceled, the CEO of Southwest Airlines claimed he didn’t support the vaccine mandate, and numerous commercial pilots protested the vaccine. Dr. Anthony Fauci claimed on Wednesday that officials “don’t really see any true basis” for concern. 

In the video below, Dr. Fauci took part in a COVID-19 response conference when a reporter brought up the current situation with the Southwest Pilots Association filing a lawsuit against the company for the vaccine mandate. 

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“Commercial airline pilots are held to pretty high physical fitness standards. They undergo medical evaluation every six months to maintain their medical certificate to fly. Pilots at American and Southwest, in particular, are arguing that they are reluctant to get vaccinated because of the potential career-ending side effects. They note the FAA has warned pilots not to fly 48 hours after the shot because of the immediate side effects.”

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Noting the possible side effects of the vaccine, the reporter asked, “There’s concern there could be long-term side effects that could cause them to lose their medical certification and thus lose their job. Is this a valid concern?”

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As if reading off a script, Dr. Fauci was sure to state the obvious “vaccines are good” before answering the question. “Right now, on the basis of literally hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of millions of vaccinations that we’ve had, the safety of these vaccines have been clearly established.”

Fauci then goes into the known side effects of the vaccine that he believes the pilots are worried about. “When you look at immediate reactogenicity, that’s what the airlines are talking about for not having a person fly for about 24-48 hours after because we know that it is not uncommon to get a sore arm or low-grade fever or some aches that almost invariably diminish and dissipate over a period of a couple of days.”

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And again, while pilots are walking off of the job because they refuse to get the vaccine, Dr. Fauci stated, “The long-term effects that the people are apparently concerned about — I’m sure there is a very, very, very, very rare exception — but the long-term effects are essentially non-existent. … We don’t really see any true basis in that concern.”

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