TSA should use dog teams to make up for the low Vax rate: Schumer

The TSA should use their dog teams to keep airport security lines moving if there is a labor shortage during the federal COVID-19 vaccination mandate, Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer said Sunday.

President Biden’s vaccination ordinance for federal employees goes into effect three days before Thanksgiving – the busiest time of year for air travel.

“If the TSA falls behind with stings, send the dogs,” Schumer said during a press conference in Manhattan, citing the TSA’s recent revelations that 40 percent of its employees remain unvaccinated.

“There’s no reason on God’s green earth why no one – let alone a TSA agent – shouldn’t have the vaccine,” said the senior New York senator.

“If the agency now plans with contingencies, including the deployment of dog teams, travel headaches can be avoided wherever vaccination rates affect staff and safety,” Schumer emphasized.

“If TSA stays behind with jabs, send the dogs in,” said Schumer during a press conference in Manhattan.
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“The dog teams are really effective,” he said. “They can help ensure national security and enable TSA agents to search people for explosives more effectively and efficiently. It really works and keeps moving the lines. “

Schumer said the TSA should “particularly focus on New York” in relation to his proposal, both because of the large number of people passing through its airports and the relatively low vaccination rates among New York TSA employees.

TSA employees must have at least their first Pfizer shot by Monday in order to meet Biden’s November 22nd deadline for a full shot. The second injection of the two-dose regimen can be given as early as 21 days later, but not earlier.

Travelers wait in line to arrive at the Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) amid a COVID-19 surge in Southern California on Jan.
There is a labor shortage amid the federal COVID-19 vaccination mandate.
Mario Tama / Getty Images
A TSA agent screened travelers through security at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, California on Tuesday, January 26, 2021.
The COVID-19 vaccination mandate for federal employees goes into effect three days before Thanksgiving.
Paul Bersebach / MediaNews Group / Orange County Register via Getty Images

Workers can also receive the Johnson & Johnson one-time dose.

But it is already too late for her to receive the Moderna syringe and be fully vaccinated on time, as Moderna needs 28 days between the two doses.

The potential labor shortage could let Thanksgiving travelers down, as experts predict an increase in Americans this holiday season.

Transportation Security Administration K9 handler Tommy Karathomas and his explosives detection dog Buddy conduct a demonstration at LaGuardia Airport on January 20, 2016
TSA employees must have at least their first Pfizer shot by Monday in order to meet the November 22nd deadline for full vaccination.
Bryan Thomas / Getty Images
TSA dogs
Schumer said the dogs could help the TSA “screen people for explosives effectively and efficiently.”
Getty Images

TSA spokesman Robert Langston said in a statement that the 40 percent unvaccinated rate “reflects that TSA workers do not yet have vaccination information and do not accurately reflect their vaccination rate.

“Vaccinating employees remains a priority within the TSA,” said Langston. “As we’ve seen in other sectors, we expect the vast majority of TSA workers to be vaccinated. Thousands of TSA employees upload their vaccinations every week. “

About Clayton Arredondo

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