Chuck Shumer suggests replacing anti-vaccine TSA agents with dogs.
Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer has suggested using detection dogs as a replacement for TSA workers refusing to get the vaccine.
“There is no reason on God’s green earth why anyone - let alone a TSA agent - shouldn’t have the vaccine,” the senator said at a press conference in Manhattan. “If TSA lags in jabs, send in the dogs.”
Schumer’s comments come after recent revelations that 40 percent of TSA employees remain unvaccinated in the midst of President Joe Biden’s mandate. The mandate requires that all TSA employees be fully vaccinated by November 22nd, the Monday before Thanksgiving.
“Now if the agency plans now with contingencies, including the deployment of the canine dog teams, wherever the vaccine rates are impacting staffing and security, travel headaches can be avoided,” Schumer explained.
“The canine teams are really effective,” he insisted. “They can help secure national security and allow TSA agents to more effectively and efficiently screen individuals for explosives. It really works and moves the lines along.”
Workers have until October 18th to receive their first dose of Pfizer or risk being terminated. The last possible day to receive the Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot dose is November 8th. Moderna is now off the table because of its 28-day requirement between doses, and would’ve required workers to receive their first dose before October 11th. The continued refusal to get vaccinated could result in a loss of approximately 24,000 agents before the holiday travel season.
Experts see an increase in Americans traveling for the holidays this year.
But the TSA doesn’t want Americans to worry: spokesman Robert Langston stated that the approximated 24,000 employees are ones that “TSA doesn’t yet have vaccination information on” and that 40 percent is “not an accurate reflection of its vaccination rate.”
“Employee vaccination remains a priority within TSA,” Langston said. “As we’ve seen across other sectors, we anticipate that the vast majority of TSA employees will get vaccinated. Thousands of TSA employees upload their vaccination every week.”