United CEO says 3,000 employees have COVID, credits the vaccine requirement for non-death

FILE – In this July 18, 2018, archive photo, a United Airlines commercial jet sits at a gate at Terminal C in Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, NJ (AP Photo / Julio Cortez, File)

CHICAGO (WBTW) – In a letter to employees, the CEO of United Airlines said that the company’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement saves the lives of its employees.

In the letter dated January 11, Scott Kirby wrote that hospitalization rates among employees have been 100 times lower than the US average since the requirement came into force. He added that before the vaccine requirement, more than one employee a week was dying of COVID-19.

Now the company has gone eight weeks in a row without a COVID-19 death among a vaccinated employee, Kirby wrote.

Kirby wrote that based on nationwide data, the company’s vaccine requirements have saved the lives of eight to 10 United employees.

“In dealing with COVID, zero is the word that matters – zero deaths and zero hospitalizations for vaccinated employees,” Kirby wrote. “And even though I know some people still disagree with our policy, United are proving it’s right to demand the vaccine because it saves lives.”

Kirby added that there are currently about 3,000 employees positive for COVID-19, but none of them are hospitalized.

In one day at Newark International Airport, a third of United Airlines’ employees were out sick, Kirby wrote.

United Airlines will also reduce short-term schedules to help minimize disruption from employees calling sick in hopes of allowing passengers to board other flights with similar arrival times, according to the letter. Kirby thanked the staff for their work in minimizing disruption and wished the sick leave a speedy recovery.

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