Critics of vaccine mandates seized on the cancellation of thousands of Southwest Airlines flights in early October to spread baseless rumors that the service disruptions were due to pilots and crews refusing to work to protest the company’s vaccine mandate. But that’s not true — the cancellations were due to air traffic control issues and bad weather. Let’s take a look at the facts.
Misleading interpretations of loosely correlated events are common, especially when they’re connected to a politically charged issue. Vaccine mandates are such an attractive target for partisans, in fact, that several similar false claims circulated recently, including that Amtrak employees were walking off the job (they aren’t); that United Airlines lost 40% of its staff (it didn’t); and that a recently vaccinated Delta pilot died during a flight (a fabrication).
“Southwest Airlines And The Pilots Union Say Vaccine Mandates Had Nothing To Do With The Massive Flight Cancellations” (Salvador Hernandez, BuzzFeed News).
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