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GOP and Trump lawmakers hailed a walkout from Southwest Airlines’ anti-vaccine mandate that officials say never happened

Senator Ted Cruz. Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images

  • Conservatives have claimed recent flight cancellations in the southwest were linked to a staff protest against the anti-vaccine warrant.

  • Donald Trump and Ted Cruz were among those who spread the rumor.

  • The CEO of Southwest and the FAA said the cancellations were actually due to technical issues and bad weather.

The Conservatives are praising what they claim to be a protest against the anti-vaccine mandate of Southwest Airlines pilots, which authorities say did not take place.

Southwest canceled thousands of flights last weekend, citing bad weather in Florida and air traffic control issues.

But former President Donald Trump, GOP lawmakers and right-wing media figures for days pushed unfounded rumors that the cancellations were the result of a walkout by staff protesting the COVID-19 vaccine mandates. .

As flight cancellations began on Saturday, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, referring to a report that provided no compelling evidence, claimed the situation was in fact due to staff shortages linked to vaccination warrants.

“Joe Biden’s illegal vaccine warrant at work. Suddenly we are running out of pilots and air traffic controllers,” he said. tweeted.

Donald Trump Jr, the eldest son of the former president, also cancellations linked to a staff vaccination event in a Sunday tweet.

“The fact that thousands of Southwest employees quit their jobs to protest the COVID vaccine mandate forcing the airline to cancel more than 1,000 flights is not getting enough attention. The media will make sure that you didn’t see it, but keep watching, it won’t. be the last protest! ” Trump Jr. said.

And in a radio interview on Sunday, Donald Trump himself speculated that the flight cancellations were linked to staff protesting his election defeat last year, as well as vaccination warrants.

“I think it has a lot to do with a lot of things. I think it has something to do with the elections that were rigged,” he said in a radio interview over the weekend. “I think they’re big fans of your favorite president, I think it has something to do with that. I think it has something to do with the… I think it has a lot to do with mandates. “

GOP and Trump lawmakers hailed a walkout from Southwest Airlines’ anti-vaccine mandate that officials say never happened

A Southwestern Boeing 737-800. Steven M. Keller

The cancellations were rumored to be the result of staff calling in droves in droves to protest against vaccination warrants. The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association filed a request to freeze the warrant last Friday in federal court.

Southwest, its pilots union and the Federal Aviation Authority have denied the rumors are true.

In a Tuesday appearance on CNBC, Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said vaccination warrants had a “zero” relationship to flight cancellations.

“We have very strong opinions on this subject, but that is not what was at issue with Southwest this weekend,” Kelly said.

Casey Murray, president of the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, told the New York Times that the real reason for the cancellations was that there had been problems reassigning barely stretched staff to new flights.

The Federal Aviation Authority has also responded to the rumors.

“To be clear: none of the information from Southwest, its pilots union, or the FAA indicates that this weekend’s cancellations were related to vaccine warrants,” he said. tweeted.

Republicans have sought to harm Biden for months by attacking COVID-19 vaccine warrants issued by his administration. The warrants were issued over the summer, amid late vaccination rates, for federal workers, contractors and employees of large companies, and have yet to take effect.

Southwest said it would require staff to follow the mandate and get fully immunized by Nov. 24, with religious and medical exemptions.

Read the original article on Business Insider