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Airlines Lying About COVID Risk - Again

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Similar False Claims Were Made About Smoke Particles On Flights

WASHINGTON - eTradeWire -- Airlines are increasingly touting what they call their superb ventilation system and HEPA filters in an effort to convince passengers that it is safe to fly despite corona virus particles released into the air by other passengers, but they made virtually the same false claims about tobacco smoke particles back in the days when smoking was permitted aboard commercial flights, notes public interest law professor John Banzhaf.

But even once smoking was restricted to small smoking sections, and the percentage of smokers shrank, passengers in the nonsmoking section most distant from a smoker would know the minute he lit up because, despite the "superb" ventilation system and "hospital style" high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, the tiny particles of tobacco smoke would drift throughout the airplane, says Banzhaf, whose legal actions first required airlines to provide no-smoking sections, and eventually led to a ban on smoking on all flights.

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Obviously airline ventilation systems did not protect passengers from inhaling drifting particles of smoke, something which was undeniably clear to any passenger with a sense of smell.  If the coronavirus had an odor, few would fly, because they would have the same irrefutable proof that - as with tobacco smoke particles - passengers are being exposed to deadly airborne particles, he argues.

Many media reports, and videos of actual flights, show that enforcement of airline requests that passengers wear masks is spotty to non-existent.  The same occurred years earlier with regard to smoking when federal law restricted or later prohibited smoking aboard flights, because airlines were reluctant to enforce the requirements upon passengers who objected.

If airlines didn't even enforce a requirement imposed by federal law, we certainly can't expect them to do so - in effect, bet our lives on it - when there are no federal rules, much less laws, requiring masks on planes, suggests Banzhaf.

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Moreover, he notes, passengers are of course permitted to remove their masks while drinking or eating (even food they brought on board where the airline doesn't serve any), and there is no way to insure that passengers do not remove their masks in the restrooms, thereby potentially infecting all subsequent restroom users with a deadly virus which can linger in the air for hours according to recent research findings.

Studies show that a single airline passenger with COVID-19 - even if he is displaying no symptoms - can infect other passengers several rows in front of as well as behind him, despite the vaunted airplane ventilation system.

So, "don't bet your life on airline hype," Professor Banzhaf warns.

http://banzhaf.net/ jbanzhaf3ATgmail.com @profbanzhaf

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Source: Public Interest Law Professor John Banzhaf
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Filed Under: Transportation, COVID

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