Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly blamed President Joe Biden for the airline’s decision to go the route of a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for its staff, arguing the new rules for federal contractors put them in a bind.
The federal contractor rule dates back to September 9, but Kelly’s answer was given in the context of a new Texas order from Governor Gregg Abbott (R-TX) that bans COVID-19 vaccine mandates by employers in the state. Southwest Airlines is both a federal contractor and based in Dallas, Texas.
“I’ve never been in favor of corporations imposing that kind of a mandate,” Kelly told CNBC on Tuesday morning. “I’m not in favor of that, never have been. But the executive order from President Biden mandates that all federal employees and