Southwest CEO exams optimistic for Covid days after unmasked Senate listening to with different airline chiefs

Doug Parker, CEO of American Airlines, Gary Kelly, CEO of Southwest Airlines, and Scott Kirby, CEO of United Airlines, say during a Senate hearing on Commerce, Science and Transportation on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on December 15 2021.

Chip Somodevilla | Swimming pool | Reuters

Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly tested positive for Covid-19 after a Senate hearing with other airline chiefs earlier this week, the airline said on Friday.

Kelly, along with the CEOs of United Airlines and American Airlines, Delta Airlines” Chief of Operations and President of the largest flight attendant union in the country, testified personally for more than three hours At the Senate Commerce Committee hearing on Wednesday afternoon over $ 54 billion in federal payroll slips the airlines spent trying to get out of the pandemic. Witnesses and lawmakers did not wear masks during the hearing. Most of the other participants wore face masks.

“Although Gary tested negative several times before the Senate Commerce Committee hearing, he tested positive for COVID-19 after returning home, showing mild symptoms and a PCR test,” a Southwest spokeswoman said in a statement. “Gary is fine and is currently resting at home. He was fully vaccinated and received the booster earlier this year. Gary’s symptoms remain mild and he is getting closer to a full recovery each day.”

United boss Scott Kirby, who was Kelly’s left in the hearing, tested negative for Covid on Friday, according to a person familiar with the matter. American boss Doug Parker tested negative on Friday, a spokeswoman said.

Delta’s chief of operations, John Laughter, who testified at the hearing on Wednesday and sat two seats away from Kelly, tested negative on Thursday and Friday.

“He will continue to carry out tests and take other precautions if necessary,” the airline said in a statement.

To Laughter’s left sat Sara Nelson, President of the Association of Flight Attendants.

“I was advised by Gary Kelly shortly after he tested positive and, ironically, just as I was getting back to work after the booster,” she said in a statement. “I follow CDC protocols and will test multiple times within the recommended period of 5-7 days and before I go on vacation with my family.”

Senators questioned witnesses about recent flight disruptions, airline hiring issues, 5G, as well as vaccination and mask requirements.

When Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) Asked airline CEOs during the hearing whether they assumed that passengers would not have to wear masks on board, Kelly promoted the effectiveness of the air filtration and circulation systems on board and said, “Me think the case is very strong that masks don’t add much to the air cabin environment. “

The Biden government has been requiring bus passengers to wear face masks since February, although airlines requested them in spring 2020 with the start of the pandemic. Earlier this month, the Biden government extended the mandate until March 18.

On Friday, Kelly softened his tone and said he supported the federal mandate.

During the hearing, “I mistook some for a short answer to a question about masks,” he wrote in a staff note in which he also disclosed his positive Covid result. “So, to be clear, me and Southwest and together with [U.S. airline lobbying group] Airlines for America are all coordinated and support the current federal mask mandate at airports and in airplanes.

“The majority of our employees and customers feel that it’s an important layer of protection, and I definitely agree,” he continued. “So we continue to rely on the advice of our medical experts about the need for masks. And I apologize for the confusion!”

Doug Parker, CEO of American Airlines, Gary Kelly, CEO of Southwest Airlines, Scott Kirby, CEO of United Airlines, John Laughter, executive vice president of Delta Air Lines, and Sara Nelson, international president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, say before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation in the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, December 15, 2021.

Chip Somodevilla | Swimming pool | Reuters

American Airlines CEO Doug Parker said, “I agree,” immediately following Kelly’s response at the hearing, but the company issued a statement Thursday saying it would “approve of the comments made by other witnesses about the high quality of the Aircraft Cabin Air “agree and did not question the need for face masks on airplanes.”

Parker later posted a lengthy statement on his Instagram account saying the airline supported the mask mandate and that he “should have been more explicit in my answer to a question that misrepresented American’s position on the mask mandate has”.

Air travel is one of the industries hardest hit by the pandemic. In the meantime, demand has recovered, primarily thanks to domestic leisure travel. Delta and United executives announced this week that they are preparing Busy end of the year holiday season, despite the prevalence of the Omicron variant.

Cash & the Legislation: Laws on over-the-counter listening to aids nonetheless awaited | Enterprise

Back in August 2017, Congress passed the Food and Drug Administration’s Reauthorization Act in a remarkable (these days) bipartisan effort. Among other things, this law instructed the FDA, an agency of the Department of Health, to establish a class of hearing aids that can be bought over the counter, such as toothpaste.

The FDA was given until August 18, 2020 to issue a draft ordinance to implement the law. This regulation should provide adequate guarantees of safety and effectiveness; Set output limits and labeling requirements; and otherwise establish rules for how over-the-counter hearing aids are sold in-store, by mail, or online. The FDA should issue a final ordinance no later than six months after the draft ordinance is drafted. But it is now September 12, 2021; There is no such regulation, and the FDA blaming COVID has apparently left the project behind.

This failure by the FDA to fulfill a clear mandate from Congress despite COVID has disheveled some feathers. Last November, two senators who supported the 2017 hearing aid legislation, Elizabeth Warren and Charles Grassley, then head of the FDA, wrote a letter asking him to do what Congress told his agency – to pass the ordinance . The senators said, “Hearing difficulties are linked to depression and dementia and increase the risk of falls in older adults.” In addition, hearing aids are expensive as prescription products and are usually not covered by health insurance.

Then, on July 9th of that year, the Biden government issued a far-reaching executive order directing all government agencies to get to work to create a competitive marketplace that is “critical to maintaining America’s role as the world’s leading economy ” is. This implementing ordinance contained an instruction to the Secretariat for Health and Social Affairs to issue the ordinance on over-the-counter hearing aids required by the 2017 law within 120 days (by November 6). So we’ll see what happens.

Of course, a delay in the availability of over-the-counter hearing aids doesn’t disappoint. In Colorado and elsewhere, licensed hearing aid manufacturers and audiologists benefit from a prescription marketplace and may need to adjust their business models if they compete with companies like Amazon.

Until over-the-counter hearing aids become a reality, some people with hearing problems may receive help from a “personal sound amplification device”. These are usually low-tech products that work on the same principle as turning up the volume on your TV, and they are not allowed to be called hearing aids. However, they can be purchased without a prescription and are much cheaper than real hearing aids.

In the event that older readers are wondering about this, despite careful research, I have not yet found anything in the law that prohibits hearing aid sellers from knowing your age and informing you after your 60th birthday.

Jim Flynn works for Flynn & Wright LLC in Colorado Springs. You can reach him at

Wooden County Fee to carry public listening to on stimulus cash

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) – Later this month, Wood County residents will have the opportunity to share their views on how the district commission is supposed to spend money under the American Recovery Act.

The district commission announced last week that a public hearing would be held on Monday, August 23 at 5:30 p.m. in Judge Donald F. Black’s annex in downtown Parkersburg.

Wood County received $ 16 million from the American Recovery Act, which was approved by Congress in February.

Federal law requires the money to be used for projects related to the pandemic. But the district commission wants to hear the concerns of the citizens.

“I think every project will be worth listening to,” said Commission President Blair Couch. “Every idea is worthy. Some projects may not fit into the American Recovery program, and some projects will if we have additional funding outside of those funds. But if it’s a great idea, it’s a great idea. “

The municipalities have until the end of 2024 to spend the money.

Wood County has already made plans for a multi-purpose community building on the site of the now demolished county jail, a multi-purpose community building, and a relocation of the district’s 911 center.

She seeks legal advice for other projects and holds interviews with candidates for a financial advisor.

Copyright 2021 WTAP. All rights reserved.

Centerville units leisure district listening to on plan to assist companies, actual property, jobs, economic system, eating places

The proposed entertainment district spans about six blocks on 48 or Main Street Ohio and about five blocks on Franklin Street, records show.

The designation would support strategies for the city’s business development that call for a “high-end bar with music, a brewery … (and) unique restaurants,” according to the proposal.

The proposed district “would mirror the existing 113 acre Architectural Preservation District” and its approval would give access to 15 new liquor permits, Centerville records show.

Currently the city has fewer than five in that area, said Centerville Development Director Michael Norton-Smith.

ExploreBUSINESS: The Centerville entertainment district push calls for a $ 50 million investment

Britney Spears ‘will not attend conservatorship listening to in courtroom’ | Leisure

Britney Spears will not attend her Conservatory hearing in person.

The 39-year-old pop star will appear virtually at the June 23 hearing after her attorney previously urged the court to “speed up” Britney in the ongoing battle for her conservatory, according to Us Weekly.

Britney has been unable to make important financial decisions for herself without her father’s approval since her 2008 conservatory contract.

The subject came into the spotlight this year after the February documentary “Framing Britney Spears” which explored the conservatoire battle.

And in March, the “… Baby One More Time” hit maker, who rose to global fame as a teenager, hit social media to talk about the documentary and the speculation that came with it.

She wrote on Instagram: “My life has always been very speculated … observed … and really my whole life was judged !!! For my sanity I have to dance to @iamstevent every night of my life to feel wild and human and alive has been exposed all my life performing in front of people !!!

She later added, “As the world goes on and life goes on, we as humans still remain so fragile and sensitive !! (sic) “

Britney subsequently stated that even though she hadn’t seen the documentary, she felt “embarrassed”.

The pop star said, “I haven’t seen the documentary, but from what I’ve seen I was embarrassed by the light they put me in … I’ve cried for two weeks and well … I still cry sometimes.

“I do what I can with myself in my own spirituality to try to keep my own joy … love … and happiness !!!! Dancing every day brings me joy !!! I am not here to be perfect … perfect is boring … I’m here to pass on friendliness !!!! (sic) “