Much maligned Senator Ted Cruz (who is vaccinated and famously wore a Texas flag mask while flying to Cancun in the midst of a devastating ice storm) took a break from being upset over Big Bird‘s promotion of vaccines to rail against United Airlines. He’s very, very upset at CEO Scott Kirby, who defended the hard-line stance of the airline on mandating vaccination for staff. While speaking to the Senate Commerce hearing this week, Kirby stood firm after being dressed down by Ted. In response, Kirby insisted, “We did this for safety. We believe it saved lives.”
Ted, however, is outraged on behalf of those United pilots who are resisting vaccination, but (as usual) he’s being hyperbolic. Reuters is reporting that 200 United employees have been fired out of a total of 67,000. Further and as Kirby related, only 6 pilots were fired out of a total of 13,000. This is far too many for Ted Cruz to stomach, and during that same hearing, he fired off a rant which Lauren Boebert enthusiastically tweeted and endorsed while slamming “these terrible mandates.”
This was great to watch!@TedCruz has been one of the leading voices against these terrible mandates & we need to keep pushing back against this as a party!
I stand with the workers at United Airlines – no one should be forced to get vaccinated just to go to work. pic.twitter.com/GIGiXhvsyh
— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) December 16, 2021
Ted also hopped into the Twitter game and blamed the grounding of United flights (which is an ongoing issue fueled by the pandemic as a whole, not necessarily because of the firings) on the “abusive vaccine mandate.”
This would be the same United that is right now FIRING pilots who refuse to comply with its abusive vaccine mandate. https://t.co/5x3MeU3Xgd
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) December 16, 2021
Naturally, people came for Ted with a volley of arguments. This includes pointing out that United Airlines is well within its rights to forbid pilots from drinking alcohol before flights for safety purposes, so vaccines should be the same drill. Further, restaurant workers must wash their hands, and so on. The consideration of safety for the public is part of working in a public-facing job, but Ted is all about the “freedom.”
Rafael, what vaccines were you required to have before attending Harvard?
— Sgt. Hugo Stiglitz (@Culinary_Jeremy) December 16, 2021
Would you prefer their slogan be: Fly the COVID Skies? Fly the anti-science airline…we defy gravity and we don’t know how? Fly with us: We have a death wish and we are looking for the nearest terminal? You really don’t think these things through huh?
— That’s different (@caseyaustex) December 16, 2021
Raphael is getting worried that when the power goes off he won’t be able to abandon Texas for Cancun… pic.twitter.com/l3UoH2lkoD
— Charles T. Barreca (@chuckbarr21) December 16, 2021
Airlines require pilots to not drink alcohol prior to flying. Would you fly with a drunken pilot?
Airlines require pilots be vaccinated. Would you fly with a pilot that could infect everyone on the plane with virus?
No one is fired. They just don’t qualify for employment.
— Joe Santarlasci (@SantarlasciJoe) December 17, 2021
Good for United showing some companies still have decent morals and values.
— CAMPBIZZLE (@happycrazytown) December 16, 2021
And yet, YOU are vaccinated Senator!
— Amy Siskind (@Amy_Siskind) December 17, 2021
ummmmm “Only 6 of United’s 13,000 pilots were fired for failing to meet the airline’s vaccine mandate”https://t.co/qwmi93APiP
— KelShel pt2 (@ShelKel2) December 17, 2021
Hey Senator you know what else caused a shortage of pilots. Covid itself.
Kirby said he made the decision after hearing about the loss of a United pilot in July, after spending the worst of the pandemic writing letters to the family members of United employees lost to the virus.
— TheSenateisthePeople,sire (@jkre1244) December 16, 2021
Gee, Ted, do you plan to also stand up for restaurant workers who don’t want to wash their hands after they use the crapper? How dare an employer tell them what to do with their body!
— Current Resident (@BujeokHorseman) December 16, 2021
One thing is for sure: Ted won’t be flying United on his next trip to Cancun.