Republican senators and congressmen who’ve railed in opposition to vaccine mandates rushed to reward a protest by airline employees who had been resisting getting the shot.
There’s only one slight downside: There’s no proof it really exists.
Over the previous few days, right-wing anti-vaxxers and the likes of Sens. Ted Cruz and Ron Johnson have managed to show a collection of in any other case boring journey delays right into a nationwide working-class protest in opposition to Joe Biden and vaccine mandates by non-public corporations that he has inspired, by the magic of fan fiction and the artistic use of correlation as causation.
It began this weekend when Southwest Airways canceled over 1,800 flights, stranding passengers throughout the nation. The delays, in keeping with Southwest, had been the results of “[air traffic control issues] and disruptive climate.” In a press release issued late Monday evening, the FAA mentioned, “Not one of the info from Southwest, its pilots union, or the FAA signifies that this weekend’s cancellations had been associated to vaccine mandates.”
Different airways, nonetheless, didn’t see mass flight cancellations regardless of being uncovered to the identical climate and air site visitors controllers as Southwest, elevating questions on why the airline, amongst all others, was so backed up.
Southwest, like almost all main airways, just lately introduced that it might require a COVID-19 vaccine as a situation of continued employment. On Friday, the identical day that flight cancellations started, Southwest’s pilots union filed a motion in federal court docket to dam the corporate’s worker vaccine mandate which they are saying “unlawfully imposes new circumstances of employment.”
Within the confusion, anti-vaxxers, significantly COVID conspiracy theorist Alex Berenson, stepped in to supply a solution to the airline’s issues. The delays, they claimed, had been the results of a mass however covert “sickout” of pilots protesting the corporate’s newly introduced vaccine mandate.
Nevertheless, the Southwest Airline Pilots’ Affiliation, in whose identify the supposed sickout is supposedly occurring, says it “can say with confidence that our Pilots usually are not collaborating in any official or unofficial job actions.” As a substitute, the union said the airline “has change into brittle and topic to large failures beneath the slightest strain” and pointed to the mass flight delays the airline suffered over the summer time—months earlier than the corporate even introduced a vaccine mandate—after smaller technical points brought about cascading delays throughout the corporate’s operations.
And in an interview with Spectrum News on Monday, Casey Murray, the Southwest Airline Pilots Affiliation president, once more pushed again on the social media claims and mentioned that inside information exhibits no enhance in sick time. “Pilot sick calls are proper in step with what we noticed this summer time,” he mentioned.
However the denials from Southwest’s pilots union and the airline haven’t stopped Republican members of Congress from praising the unprovable vaccine protest and condemning the airline for mandating jabs.
“I stand with #Southwest Airways workers who’re combating in opposition to these mandates,” Arizona Republican congressman Andy Biggs proudly proclaimed on Monday.
Ted Cruz hopped on the right-wing sickout meme early on Sunday because it gathered assist on Twitter. “Joe Biden’s unlawful vaccine mandate at work! Out of the blue, we’re quick on pilots and air site visitors controllers,” he wrote. (Cruz’s tweet appeared to recommend that federal air site visitors controllers, along with Southwest workers, had been collaborating within the supposed vaccine mandate—a further declare nobody else has made.)
Spokespeople for Cruz, Johnson and Biggs didn’t return requests for remark.
Since then, right-wing pundits have wishcasted the Southwest delays right into a promised “general strike” amongst working-class transportation workers throughout the nation. Far-right social media accounts seized on Amtrak’s announcement of delays on two Amtrak shuttle trains between Springhaven, Connecticut, and Springfield, Massachusetts, as proof that their hoped-for movement is spreading, regardless of the absence of any proof the delays have something to do with the rail system’s just lately introduced vaccine mandates. (Amtrak didn’t reply to requests for remark from The Day by day Beast in time for publication)
Fox Information star Tucker Carlson kicked off his Monday evening program by claiming he had reporting that tied the cancellations to an anti-vax sickout. After referencing the airline’s official clarification on the canceled flights, the far-right host mentioned it’s “not what occurred” and “all of that was a lie.”
“We’ve spoken to a number of folks with direct data of what really did occur,” he declared. “We are able to inform you the shutdown of Southwest Airways over the weekend was a direct consequence, it was a response to Joe Biden’s vaccine mandates.”
Public polling—in addition to the outcomes from different corporations which have applied mandates in current months—present little assist for the anti-vaccine place on COVID photographs.
Polls present that public assist for vaccine mandates has really elevated with at the very least 60 p.c of Individuals supportive of the necessities in a recent Gallup poll.
And the Biden administration touts numbers that it says present vaccine mandates really work in getting folks vaccinated. In public feedback on Oct. 7, Biden mentioned that “as an increasing number of organizations have applied their very own [vaccine] necessities, they’ve seen their vaccination charges rise dramatically.” As proof, Biden pointed to a drop within the variety of unvaccinated Individuals, from 95 million right down to 67 million, after the administration introduced a federal worker vaccine mandate.
And whereas some industries—significantly in law enforcement—have seen staffing issues over the vaccine mandate, airways so far haven’t been amongst them.
Justin Baragona contributed to this report.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/ted-cruz-and-co-promote-non-existent-anti-vax-airline-strike?supply=articles&by way of=rss | Ted Cruz & Co. Promote Nonexistent Anti-Vax Airline ‘Strike’