The potential ripple effect triggered by a vaccine mandate from President Joe Biden could severely disrupt America's transportation infrastructure and further hamper the supply chain, a pilot explained Monday on Fox News.
What is the background?
Biden issued a COVID-19 vaccine mandate on Sept. 9 for all federal contractors. The mandate impacts several major airlines, like American and Southwest, because they contract business with the federal government. Contractors have until Dec. 8 to comply.
However, not every airline conducts business with the government. Such airlines, like Spirit, instead will be subject to a forthcoming vaccine mandate from the White House that forces every company that employs more than 100 people to require vaccination.
What are the details?
Speaking with Fox News host Tucker Carlson, American Airlines pilot Joshua Yoder explained a disruption in transportation infrastructure — which could happen if a significant number of pilots are dismissed for not complying with the vaccine mandate — will have a "catastrophic effect" on America.
"It's going to affect commerce, it's going to affect trade, and ultimately it's going to affect the economy," Yoder predicted.
"If you have flights reduced by 30% because 30% of pilots are fired because they won't take the vaccine, this is going to affect how your goods get here from overseas, how they are distributed to the store," he explained.
"The same thing is happening with the truckers, it's happening in the shipping industry. Those Amazon boxes that typically show up in two days— you might be looking at three weeks," Yoder warned.
Tucker: Airline employees have more power than they realize www.youtube.com
According to Yoder, pilots and truckers — the people responsible for the success of the supply chain — "have all the control."
First of all, we have all the control, and the control comes from a simple word, and that is "no." We just don't need to comply. As far as I'm concerned I will never promote a sickout or a work action that is illegal. With U.S. Freedom Flyers, the organization I'm with, we will never promote such a thing. With that being said, we also cannot control the actions of individuals. And I think that you will see massive disruptions in supply chain and in your travel if we just stand up and say "no."
"If these companies fire us, and they fire 30% of the workforce, aircraft are going to stop moving and it's going to affect you. It's going to affect your air travel and it's going to affect the economy," Yoder warned.
Yoder's warning came after Southwest Airlines canceled thousands of flights over the weekend. The airliner blamed bad weather and air traffic control, but the Federal Aviation Administration said neither inclement weather nor ATC were to blame.
As tens of thousands of Americans were left stranded after their flights were abruptly canceled, speculation swirled over a possible "sickout."
The cause of the mass cancellation, however, remains unknown, although Southwest Airlines later partially blamed staffing problems.