CNN HOST: Dr. Wen, so the federal government, we have seen since the pandemic set in, has had authority over airline travel and rail. Air and rail. And when putting in requirements for wearing masks now for, what, more than a year we've seen, they are not making a vaccine requirement for air travel or train travel in this announcement from the president. Do you think there should be that requirement and how big of a difference do you think that would make?
DR. LEANA WEN: I absolutely think we should have that requirement. I think it is a major oversight on the part of the Biden administration to not issue this yesterday.
We have to talk about the reason. The reason isn't so much that we need to keep train travel and plane travel even safer. They are pretty safe. Although I definitely think that having a vaccine requirement would make it even safer, and probably encourage many people who are vaccinated and have young kids and want to protect them, maybe it will help to encourage those people to start traveling again. But there is a bigger reason too.
Which is, I think we need to make it clear that there are privileges associated with being an American. That if you wish to have these privileges, you need to get vaccinated. Having the right to travel interstate, it is not a constitutional right, as far as I know, to board a plane and so staying safe -- and saying that you want to stay unvaccinated, that is your choice. But if you want to travel, you better go get that vaccine.
Remaining unvaccinated & going out in public is equivalent to driving under the influence. You want to be intoxicated? That’s your choice, but if you want to drive a car, that endangers others. No one should have the “choice” to infect others with a potentially deadly disease. pic.twitter.com/a4itLS2upX— Leana Wen, M.D. (@DrLeanaWen) September 10, 2021
President Biden speaking to the unvaccinated: "What more are you waiting for....? We've been patient, but our patience is wearing thin. Your refusal has cost us."— Leana Wen, M.D. (@DrLeanaWen) September 9, 2021