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President Biden has imposed one other coronavirus-related travel ban simply hours after one in every of his high advisers cautioned that the U.S. didn’t have enough info to accomplish that.
On Friday morning, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Biden’s chief medical adviser, informed CNN that the new of COVID-19 spreading via Africa, now named by the World Health Organization (WHO) as Omnicron, was elevating a “purple flag that this is perhaps a difficulty we do not know.” He additionally emphasised the necessity to conduct testing.
FAUCI ON NEW COVID-19 VARIANT: US, SOUTH AFRICAN SCIENTISTS STUDYING POTENTIAL TO EVADE VACCINE ANTIBODIES
When requested a couple of travel ban, he added: “Obviously as quickly as we discover out extra info we’ll decide as shortly as we presumably can. You at all times put this stuff on the desk, however you don’t need to say you are going to do it till you’ve got some scientific motive to do it. That’s the explanation why we’re speeding now to get that scientific knowledge to try to make an knowledgeable resolution about one thing like that.”
OMNICRON VARIANT SPREAD: US TO LIMIT TRAVEL FROM 8 SOUTHERN AFRICAN COUNTRIES
He went on to say that “you need to discover out if in reality [the variant] does evade the vaccines.”
It’s unclear what further info, if any, prompted the administration’s resolution to ban travel from eight international locations on Friday. In a press release, Biden indicated that he made the choice after meeting with Fauci.
“This morning I used to be briefed by my chief medical advisor, Dr. Tony Fauci, and the members of our COVID response workforce, in regards to the Omicron variant, which is spreading via Southern Africa,” he said. “As a precautionary measure till we’ve extra info, I’m ordering further air travel restrictions from South Africa and 7 different international locations.”
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The White House didn’t instantly reply to Fox News’ request for remark.
The variant has been recognized in Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi. About a dozen different international locations, together with the United Kingdom, will create comparable travel restrictions. Travel restrictions won’t apply to American residents and lawful everlasting residents, however all worldwide vacationers should check detrimental prior to travel.
Fox News’ Peter Aitken contributed to this report.