The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reported the highest number of people passing through travel security checkpoints on May 28 since the outbreak of the CCP virus.
The TSA logged 1.96 million travelers on May 28 at the start of the Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial beginning of summer in the United States. That’s nearly six times the travel volume on the same day a year ago, when just over 327,000 passed through security checkpoints.
Travel numbers have been on the rise since earlier this year as reported infections dropped following the winter surge and after tens of millions of Americans were vaccinated against the virus. The TSA routinely reported more than 2 million daily trips in 2019. The lowest travel numbers were logged on April 13, 2020, when only 87,534 passengers passed through TSA checkpoints.
More than 40 percent of Americans have received a vaccine for the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus. The number of newly reported infections has mostly trended down since mid-January.
“We’re very excited about the reemergence of travel, the chance for Americans to reunite with family and friends whom they haven’t seen for some time,” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said May 28 on “Good Morning America.” “There’s going to be a tremendous amount of people traveling this weekend.”
“Patience is required,” Mayorkas said in reference to the return of long lines at airports.
A number of states and major corporations lifted long-standing mask mandates in May after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revised its guidelines to advise that fully vaccinated people don’t have to wear masks indoors, outdoors, or in most other settings.
The White House celebrated the travel numbers in a statement released on May 29.
“President [Joe] Biden’s economic plan is working. Thanks to a robust vaccination program that has helped get the pandemic under control, Americans are continuing to resume levels of normalcy,” the White House said in a statement.
The AAA estimated earlier this month that more than 37 million Americans would travel 50 miles or more from their homes for the Memorial Day weekend.
“As more people get the COVID-19 vaccine and consumer confidence grows, Americans are demonstrating a strong desire to travel this Memorial Day,” Paula Twidale, senior vice president of AAA Travel, said in a statement. “This pent-up demand will result in a significant increase in Memorial Day travel, which is a strong indicator for summer.”
Memorial Day gas prices are at the highest level in seven years, according to The Associated Press. However, White House press secretary Jan Psaki said in a statement that Americans are “paying less in real terms for gas than they have on average over the last 15 years.” She said the Memorial Day gas prices this year aren’t much different from May 2018 and May 2019.