After the Biden administration announced last month that all federal employees must be vaccinated, most major airlines (which are technically government contractors) have followed suit, requiring their workers to get vaccinated as well. As a result, there’s been an emerging sub-genre of disgruntled airline employees coming forward on social media to complain about being subject to the indignities of having to get a shot that protects themselves and their families from getting sick. There hasn’t, however, been any evidence that employees are quitting en masse, despite the best efforts of anti-vaxx activists.
But that isn’t stopping some from expressing their displeasure online. One such disgruntled employee is Shawn Andrew Walker, a pilot who last week cited the forthcoming mandate in an awkward anti-vaxx rant that is now going viral in right-wing media circles.
“I have to choose between putting food on the table for my family, and freedom of choice,” Walker says before opining about the nature of America on top of footage of a Civil War reenactment. He then warns that “shifting baseline syndrome” will destroy the nation’s conception of freedom entirely, complete with pseudoscientific graphics of brain activity to bolster this point. The video ends with Walker directing viewers to a website for a group of pilots, dubbed the U.S. Freedom Flyers, who oppose the vaccine mandate.
Walker’s video has gone viral among the right, with more than 50,000 views on TikTok. It has been shared by far-right pundits Candace Owens and Benny Johnson, the plagiarist-turned-right-wing media troll, who tweeted, “This is the single bravest thing I’ve seen in years.” Both Johnson’s and Owens’ tweets of the video have each received over 17,000 retweets as of Monday afternoon.