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The official guidance of the CDC says that "postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others this year."

  • Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly, however, took the opposing position when he was interviewed by "Axios on HBO." "You should fly," he told me, adding that "we need to have as much commerce and business and movement as is safe to do."

What they're saying: "The problem is not being on the airplane," said Kelly — although the science on that is not settled. "The problem is what you do off the airplane, quite frankly."

  • "The challenge is when the families get together, and they're not wearing their mask and they're having dinner and drinks and whatnot. Those are all very high risk."

Between the lines: Kelly conceded that he was in the business of bringing families together to have dinner and drinks. He advocated for "a layered approach" to preventing the spread of COVID-19, but pushed back against restrictions on the layer he's responsible for, which is air travel.

  • "What we want to do is provide the opportunity for people to travel as they choose," he said, "but to make sure that it is as safe as we can possibly make it."

By the numbers: Kelly said that passenger numbers are continuing to increase, despite the current wave of coronavirus cases and deaths.

  • "The demand for travel is stronger in November and December than it has been even over the last couple of months," he said. "But we're still going to be down 60% or 65%. So that's better than being down 70%, but a long way away from success."
  • "Without the holiday demand in November and December," he added, "I'm worried about January."

Go deeper

Scammers have stolen over $130 million in coronavirus-related schemes

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Over 100,000 Americans have collectively reported roughly $132 million in fraud losses from scams related to the coronavirus and government stimulus checks since the March start of the pandemic, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

Why it matters: Coronavirus-related fraud complaints peaked in May when the IRS began sending its first round of stimulus checks. Congress recently proposed a second round of stimulus.

20 hours ago - Health

Biden admin to boost COVID vaccine delivery to states for at least 3 weeks

Vice President Harris receives her second COVID-19 vaccine dose in Bethesda, Maryland, on Jan. 26. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration plans to increase its COVID-19 vaccine shipments to states and tribes from 8.6 million doses per week to 10 million for at least the next three weeks, as part of an effort to vaccinate the majority of the U.S. population by the end of this summer.

Why it matters: Hospitals in states across the U.S. say they are running out of vaccines and the country's death toll is sharply rising.