Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday said the idea of taking the masks off on airplanes should not be considered despite airline executives saying face coverings are not needed with airplane filtration systems.

Fauci made his comments during an interview with ABC's "This Week" as he discussed the latest development in the U.S. about the COVID-19 amid the rising threat of the Omicron variant, The Daily Wire reported.

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Anthony Fauci Opposes on Taking Face Mask Off on Airplanes

During the interview, host Jonathan Karl mentioned that airline executives suggested that people may no longer need a mask. 

American Airlines CEO Doug Parker and Southwest Airlines Gary Kelly recently told a Senate panel that face masks "don't add much" additional protection against the spread of COVID on planes. 

However, Anthony Fauci debunked the ideas of the airline executives, reiterating that face masks should not be removed on planes.

"I think the idea of taking masks off, in my mind, is really not something we should even be considering," Fauci noted.

After reiterating that face masks are still needed on airplanes, Fauci acknowledged that the people are safe against the COVID inside the aircraft.

"But with regard to the spread of the virus in the country, I mean, I think if you look at wearing a mask and the filtration on planes, things are reasonably safe," the nation's top infectious disease expert noted.

When it comes to the vaccine, Fauci said that jab requirements for people who will travel domestically are not yet "necessary at this time." He then pointed out that the effectiveness of vaccine requirements depends on how the airlines will utilize them.

"Well. It depends on what you want to use it for. I mean vaccine requirements for people coming in from other countries is to prevent newly infected people from getting in to the country," Fauci said.

Airline CEOs on Face Masks

Anthony Fauci's comments on wearing face masks on airplanes came after CEOs of Southwest Airlines and American Airlines CEOs told a Senate panel that people inside the airplanes are safe against the COVID even without a mask due to the High-Efficiency Particulate Air [HEPA] filtering system.

"The environment is very safe, very high quality compared to any other indoor setting," Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly said.

Kelly also emphasized that 99.7 percent of airborne pathogens are captured by HEPA filtering system and that the said mechanism is turned over "every two or three minutes."

American Airlines CEO Doug Parker seconded Kelly's statement, claiming that all airplanes "have the same HEPA filters and airflow." He also said that airplanes are the "safest place" for people.

However, American Airlines spokeswoman Stacy Day later issued a statement clarifying that their CEO's words were not said to cast doubt necessities of wearing face masks inside the aircraft.

The spokeswoman noted that their company still supports the federal mask mandates and that face masks are an important part of their commitment to keeping their passengers safe against COVID-19.

Kelly has later tested positive for COVID following the Senate Commerce Committee hearing on airline oversight on December 15, according to Reuters.

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This article is owned by Latin Post.

Written by: Joshua Summers

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