Doctor Flying With United Airlines Shares Photo of Packed Flight Amid Pandemic

May 11, 2020 Updated: May 11, 2020

A doctor on board a United Airlines flight from Newark, New Jersey, to San Francisco documented a full flight and pointed out the lack of social distancing amid the CCP virus pandemic.

Dr. Ethan Weiss, a University in San Francisco cardiologist, was returning from volunteering in New York City to treat CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus patients, and he was one of 24 health care professionals on the flight, he told KGO-TV.

“I’m scared of getting on the airplane on Saturday. I’ve been taking care of COVID-19 patients for the last two weeks, and I’m more scared of getting on the airplane on Saturday than I’m walking into the hospital,” Weiss said.

He also wrote on Twitter that “I guess that [United] is relaxing their social distancing policy these days? Every seat full on this 737.”

In another post, Weiss noted United Airlines sent out an email on April 30 saying the middle seat on every row would be blocked to allow for more space.

“If I randomly happen to be seated in an aisle seat and the person in the window seat has COVID, I’m probably more likely to get infected there than I would be in the ICU,” Weiss told KGO.

According to ABC7, about 24 health care workers flew home on the flight for free.

In another comment on Twitter, Weiss said that people on the plane “are scared” and “shocked.” He also added that “I have no idea why most of them are traveling.”

United Airlines released a statement to news outlets about Weiss’s comments.

“We’ve overhauled our cleaning and safety procedures and implemented a new boarding and deplaning process to promote social distancing. Our flight to San Francisco had an additional 25 medical professionals on board who were flying for free to volunteer their time in New York—we’ve provided complimentary flights for more than 1,000 doctors and nurses in the past few weeks alone—and all passengers and employees were asked to wear face coverings, consistent with our new policy,” it said.