Southwest CEO Gary Kelly who argued that masks are insignificant on aircraft yesterday, tested positive for COVID today. After a Senate commerce committee hearing in Washington, D.C., Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines CEO tested positive for COVID.
Brandy King, Southwest spokeswoman said Kelly, who recently announced plans to retire in early 2022 tested positive after having moderate symptoms. He tested negative, she said “several” times before the hearing on Wednesday.
King stated that he is properly vaccinated and had a booster earlier this year.
“Gary is doing well and is presently recuperating at home,” King said in an email, adding that Kelly got his positive test result on Thursday.
Kelly was chastised at the conference for his remarks about the usefulness of wearing a mask on an aircraft. He argued that masks are insignificant on aircraft. On aircraft and at airports, masks are required and the government policy was recently extended until March.
During the hearing, Kelly stated “I believe the argument is quite strong that masks don’t add much, if anything, to the air cabin environment.” “Compared to any other indoor setting, it is extremely safe and high-quality.”
At the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation hearing, Kelly and other top airline executives were not wearing masks. In the interest of contact tracking, Kelly told those who spoke at the hearing about his positive test.
Kelly alerted Sara Nelson, the international president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA immediately after he tested positive and while she was returning to work after receiving the booster, she claimed.
In a statement, Nelson said, “I am following CDC standards and will test numerous times during the 5-7 day recommended timeframe, as well as before traveling with my family for the holidays.”
At the hearing, Kelly sat between American Airlines CEO Doug Parker and United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby. According to American spokesperson Curtis Blessing, Parker will be put to the test this afternoon. Kirby has already been found to be negative.
Delta Air Lines’ chief of operations and the airline’s representative at the hearing, John Laughter, tested negative today and on Thursday, according Morgan Durrant, a Delta spokeswoman.
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