Now everyone is clarifying what he meant. Like American Airlines. They ain't happy.
"To suggest that people not fly at this stage of things is a broad brush stroke bordering on fear mongering," American Airlines spokesman Tim Smith said. "The facts of the situation at this stage anyway certainly don't support that."
"American Airlines flies approximately 250,000 passengers a day and as of today, we have not had one ill passenger test positive for swine flu," he added.
The Air Transport Association concurred. The CEO of the airline industry trade organization wrote a letter to the vice president and to make sure he received it (in case the mailman forgot to deliver it), they mass-blasted it out to all the media.
"On behalf of the nation’s airlines, I am writing to express my extreme disappointment at your suggestion that people should avoid air travel in response to the H1N1 flu outbreak," wrote James C. May.
"The fact is that the air onboard a commercial aircraft is cleaner than that in most public buildings," he added.
Of course that statement could lead to stampedes of screaming people fleeing from public buildings, but that's another issue.
And the US Travel Association chimed in. President Roger Dow said the public should "heed the advice of medical experts" instead of the vice president. Well, he didn't mention him by name. But, we're assuming that's who he meant.