The American vaccine and vaccination mandate debate continues.
More than 2,000 Southwest Airlines flights were recently canceled, and vaccine mandate opponents on Twitter – including a significant number of downright anti-Vaxxers – have linked the cancellations to new Covid-19 requirements.
They believe Southwest employees and pilots proclaimed in response to the company’s vaccine mandate and have since shown their support for the apparent disorder online.
The alleged protest has since been referred to as #FreedomFlu and refers to the people exercising their freedom of choice to oppose the coronavirus vaccine.
The name is an allusion to the “blue flu”, that is how policemen’s strikes are called, during which many people are on sick leave at the same time.
Likewise, many believe that airline employees are on strike against vaccination regulations.
It is worth noting that both the airline and the pilots union have stated that the numerous flight disruptions have nothing to do with the new mandates. Instead, they blamed bad weather and air traffic control problems.
Gary Kelly, CEO of Southwest Airlines, told the media, “At the end of the day we have a significant number of planes and flight crews completely out of position.”
He added, “And … as any aviation expert knows, it only takes a few days to get everything back in line.”
Although he denied the rumors, he made it clear that he did not support the mandate: “I’ve never been in favor of corporations imposing such a mandate.”
The company’s request follows Joe Biden’s September mandate on Covid vaccines for federal employees, federal contractors, and companies with more than 100 employees.
The #FreedomFlu was shared by both those against Vax and those simple anti-vaccination mandates. It seems like the Twitter hashtag was propelled by alt-right activist Jack Posobiec, who posted a series of tweets with the phrase and retweeted supporters bringing him back to the trending topic.
“As police officers, we had the ‘blue flu’. Pilots and flight crews now have the #FreedomFlu, and I love it, ”former NYPD officer John Cardillo wrote on Twitter.
Another tweet read, “I heard that #FreedomFluid is just totally terrible. Get them down until the losers in the White House rescind their vaccine mandate. Side effects: Can bring the country to a standstill for a while. “
Posobiec wrote about the hashtag: “#FreedomFlu comes from the year 1776. Covid comes from Wuhan. Do it right! “
The rumors on the Internet have gained momentum among Republican politicians like Ted Cruz and have given more support to what they call a struggle for “freedom” of workers.