News and Commentary

Delta Air Lines CEO Ditches ‘Divisive’ Vaccine Mandate

   DailyWire.com
Delta Air Lines Boeing 737-800 commercial aircraft as seen on final approach landing at New York JFK John F Kennedy International airport in NY, USA on February 13, 2020.
Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Delta Air Lines is ditching a vaccine mandate for employees, according to company CEO Ed Bastian, who notably emphasized the “divisiveness” of such an order.

Bastian said announcing a plan to get all employees vaccinated, without enforcing a mandate, has worked, allowing the company to reach a 90% vaccination rate.

“The reason the mandate was put in by [the] president, I believe, was because they wanted to make sure companies had a plan to get their employees vaccinated,” the CEO said, according to Fox Business. “A month before the president came out with the mandate, we had already announced our plan to get all of our people vaccinated. And the good news is the plan is working.”

Bastian “acknowledged that there will need to be religious and medical accommodations made for those who wish to remain unvaccinated while avoiding having to threaten employment status,” Fox Business noted.

“By the time we’re done, we’ll be pretty close to fully vaccinated as a company without going through all the divisiveness of a mandate,” the executive said.

“We’re proving that you can work collaboratively with your people, trusting your people to make the right decisions, respecting their decisions and not forcing them over the loss of their jobs.”

Back in August, Bastian warned unvaccinated employees enrolled in Delta’s health care plan they would be subject to higher premiums to cover increased costs associated with COVID, The Daily Wire reported:

Effective November 1, employees who have not been immunized against coronavirus will face a $200 increase in their monthly payments.

“The average hospital stay for COVID-19 has cost Delta $50,000 per person,” Bastian wrote in the memo. “This surcharge will be necessary to address the financial risk the decision to not vaccinate is creating for our company.”

[…] Other changes detailed in the memo include requiring unvaccinated employees to wear face coverings in all indoor Delta settings, effective immediately. 

President Joe Biden in September formally announced his administration would be mandating vaccination, testing, and mask requirements for not just federal employees, but many private businesses, too.

“Companies with at least 100 employees must require their employees get vaccinated or submit to weekly COVID-19 tests under a new Biden administration plan to combat the coronavirus and encourage vaccination,” The Daily Wire reported at the time. “President Joe Biden is scheduled to outline a revamped federal strategy to address COVID-19 that includes far more invasive regulations and restrictions than the federal government has put in place to date. Part of Biden’s six-point plan involves cracking down on 100+ employee companies to push their employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19.”

Last week, Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly blamed Biden for the airline’s decision to enforce a vaccine mandate on its employees.

“I’ve never been in favor of corporations imposing that kind of a mandate,” Kelly told CNBC. “I’m not in favor of that, never have been. But the executive order from President Biden mandates that all federal employees and then all federal contractors, which covers all major airlines, have to have a vaccine mandate in place by December 8. So we’re working through that.”

Southwest had to cancel thousands of flights, starting last weekend. Curiously, the company has seemed to blame everything outside of the vaccine mandate, including weather.

Related: Southwest CEO Blames Joe Biden For Airline’s Vaccine Mandate

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