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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the TSA should use canine dog teams to streamline airport security lines in the event of a worker shortage due to the vaccine mandate.

President Joe Biden’s vaccine order threatens to impact holiday travel, as his vaccination order for federal workers goes into effect three days prior to Thanksgiving, and the TSA only has managed to vaccinate 60% of their national workforce. 

“If TSA lags in jabs, send in the dogs,” Schumer said at a Manhattan press conference on Sunday. “There is no reason on God’s green Earth why anyone — let alone a TSA agent — shouldn’t have the vaccine.”

“Now if the agency plans now with contingencies, including the deployment of the canine dog teams, wherever the vaccine rates are impacting staffing and security, travel headaches can be avoided,” the New York senator continued.

Schumer endorsed the dogs as “really effective” agents. “They can help secure national security and allow TSA agents to more effectively and efficiently screen individuals for explosives. It really works and moves the lines along,” he insisted. 

TSA spokesman Robert Langston denied that a recent report that 40 percent of the agency’s workers were unvaccinated is completely factual, noting that many of their personnel are not in possession of the government-issued equipment required to submit timely responses to the government’s vaccine surveys. 

“Employee vaccination remains a priority within TSA,” Langston commented. “As we’ve seen across other sectors, we anticipate that the vast majority of TSA employees will get vaccinated. Thousands of TSA employees upload their vaccination every week.” 

TSA workers need to get their first dose of the Pfizer shot by Oct. 18, in order to be fully vaccinated by the Nov. 22 deadline, or take Johnson & Johnson’s single dose solution, but cannot get the Moderna jab, as it requires 28 full days between doses. 

The 2021 holiday travel season is expected to surge to double the levels of 2020, both domestic and international, around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Passenger levels are forecasted to rise to nearly 2 million travelers daily, which is between 75-80% of 2019’s pre-pandemic numbers.  

The most popular destinations to book are Orlando, FL, Dallas, TX, Los Angeles, CA, and New York City, NY.  

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

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