Southwest CEO’s Boast About Airplanes’ Low COVID Risk Flies By Key Concerns

During a May 3 appearance on “Face the Nation,” Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said that he believed it was safe for Americans to fly during the coronavirus epidemic and that a plane is as safe as any other space.

“I don’t think the risk on an airplane is any greater risk than anywhere else, and in fact, you just look at the layered approach that we use. It’s as safe as an environment as you’re going to find,” said Kelly.

We thought it was important to check this claim. After all, as states lift stay-at-home orders and summer weather starts to roll in, Americans are bound to start thinking about travel and whether it’s safe to fly in the COVID age.

We contacted Southwest Airlines to ask for the evidence to back up Kelly’s claim. A company spokesperson pointed us to this statement — the Southwest Promise — which outlines

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Widely Used Surgical Masks Are Putting Health Care Workers At Serious Risk

With medical supplies in high demand, federal authorities say health workers can wear surgical masks for protection while treating COVID-19 patients — but growing evidence suggests the practice is putting workers in jeopardy.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently said lower-grade surgical masks are “an acceptable alternative” to N95 masks unless workers are performing an intubation or another procedure on a COVID patient that could unleash a high volume of virus particles.

But scholars, nonprofit leaders and former regulators in the specialized field of occupational safety say relying on surgical masks — which are considerably less protective than N95 respirators — is almost certainly fueling illness among front-line health workers, who likely make up about 11% of all known COVID-19 cases.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that that’s one of the reasons that so many health care workers are getting sick and many are dying,” said Jonathan

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