Delta Air Lines CEO explained why airline does not have a vaccine mandate, but failed to note it fines unvaxxed employees with company health insurance
While the Delta Airlines CEO appeared on national news to defend his company’s decision not to require its employees to become vaccinated, the company instead has a policy that financially punishes those who refuse the vaccine if they participate in the company’s health insurance plan.
In a clip posted by Arsenal Media’s Benny Johnson, Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastian appeared on Fox Business to discuss how his business handled mass vaccination efforts. When the conversation turned to why his airline does not specifically mandate COVID-19 vaccines, CEO Ed Bastian said that his company found another way to reach a near universal vaccination rate.
“The reason the mandate was put in by the president, I believe, was because they wanted to make sure companies had a plan to get their employees vaccinated,” said Bastian. “A month before the president came out with the mandate, we already announced our plan to get all of our people vaccinated. And the good news is, the plan is working.”
The plan Bastian refers to involves fining employees who partake in the company’s health insurance plan $200 per month if they do not receive one of the controversial vaccines, and ostensibly the following booster shots.
While some pundits have declared victory, in reality Bastian sent a memo to employees in August describing this new surcharge for any employee participating in the airline’s insurance plan as far back as August, according to CBS News.
“The average hospital stay for COVID-19 has cost Delta $50,000 per person. This surcharge will be necessary to address the financial risk the decision to not vaccinate is creating for our company,” Bastian said in the memo. Despite this not being true in the country, CBS notes Bastion indicated all of those who were hospitalized did not receive the vaccine.
Ultimately, explained Bastian in his recent appearance on Fox Business, charging people to work at the airline unless they consent to become vaccinated has resulted in a 90% vaccination rate. He expects this to rise to 95% in the next month, and seemed to leave the remaining 5% for potential religious and medical exemptions.
Due to the pandemic, Delta Air Lines’ number of employees shrunk to 74,000 in 2020. If we assume this number does not rise, this means Bastian expects 70,300 of the 74,000 to receive the vaccine, and only 3,700 to be granted an exemption.