An airline pilot and activist for individual liberty told Fox News on Monday that situations such as mass flight cancelations will become more common if the Biden administration refuses to backdown from its hardline stance against coercing Americans to get vaccinated against COVID.
Speaking on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Joshua Yoder, a commercial airline pilot and the co-founder of a group called U.S. Freedom Flyers, cautioned that events such as this past weekend’s Southwest Arlines flight cancellations could soon be unavoidable.
The reason: Yoder said the people who do skilled jobs, such as flying planes and driving trucks, will stand against President Joe Biden and their own employers.
“My motive for resisting [the COVID vaccine] is primarily religious for myself,” Yoder told Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
“Among my friends I saw a need. Many of us don’t want to take this. People were being coerced. I believe in freedom, and I’m here to support the freedom of my fellow employees and all people across this country.”
“I’m not going to take a mandate. I’m not going to be forced to do something that I don’t believe in,” he added.
“If you have flights reduced by 30 percent because 30 percent of pilots are fired because they won’t take the vaccine, this is going to affect how your goods get here from overseas, how they are distributed to the store,” he said when asked to describe the effect on the national transportation infrastructure.
“The same thing is happening with the truckers; it’s happening in the shipping industry. Those Amazon boxes that typically show up in two days, you might be looking at three weeks,” he continued, making note of a reported shortage of truckers and dock workers as ports — such as the one at Long Beach in Los Angeles Country — experience a backlog of ships waiting to be unloaded.
While the supply chain has for months been showing signs of bending, this past weekend Southwest canceled thousands of flights, reportedly because of a “sick-out” from pilots and other employees over the company’s vaccine mandate.
Southwest blamed the flight cancellations on weather and staffing issues with air traffic controllers.
“ATC issues and disruptive weather have resulted in a high volume of cancellations throughout the weekend while we work to recover our operation. We appreciate your patience as we accommodate affected Customers, and Customer Service wait times are longer than usual,” the airliner said.
ATC issues and disruptive weather have resulted in a high volume of cancellations throughout the weekend while we work to recover our operation. We appreciate your patience as we accommodate affected Customers, and Customer Service wait times are longer than usual. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/o1scQJ5lLb
— Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) October 9, 2021
No other airline was affected by any staffing shortage or widespread weather issues.
Yoder, when speaking of staffing shortages and logistics, asserted that more shortages of employees, such as the one which that hit Southwest, could come. He blamed Biden for the issues and challenged any notion that the federal government is in control of what American citizens and workers choose with regard to vaccines.
“It’s squarely his [Biden’s] fault,” he said.
“First of all, we have all the control, and the control comes from a simple word, and that’s ‘no,’” he said. “We just don’t need to comply. As far as I’m concerned, I will never promote a sick-out or a work action that is illegal. With U.S. Freedom Flyers, the organization I’m with, we will never promote such a thing. With that being said, we also cannot control the actions of individuals.”
“And I think that you will see massive disruptions in supply chain and in your travel if we just stand up and say no,” he said. “If these companies fire us and they fire 30% of the workforce, aircraft are going to stop moving, and it’s going to affect you. It’s going to affect your air travel, and it’s going to affect the economy.”
U.S. Freedom Flyers calls itself a “group of transportation industry employees who have come together to fight federal and state mandates which aim to strip Citizens of their right to medical freedom.”
The collective of transportation professionals also attacked the nationwide vaccine mandate, which threatens companies that do not comply with fines.
“The Biden Administration vaccine mandate [for companies with more than 100 employees] announcement on September 9, 2021 made it abundantly clear that its focus is not on maintaining our rights and freedoms as outlined in our Constitution, but on its totalitarian rule,” the group said. “Our freedoms and lives have been upended because of a virus with a 99.8% recovery rate. We will not allow this fear mongering campaign to continue on the American people.”