The White House chief medical advisor said officials are re-evaluating President Joe Biden’s African travel ban, which the U.N. Secretary-General called “travel apartheid.”
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Wednesday travel restrictions that isolate any one country or region are “not only deeply unfair and punitive – they are ineffective,” according to a Reuters report.
Dr. Anthony Fauci said the U.S. is looking to reevaluate that travel ban now that the United States (and other nations) have confirmed cases of the omicron variant, according to Fox News, which added he did not say when the Administration might lift the ban.
On Nov. 26, President Biden announced a ban on travel from eight African countries effective Nov. 29 after the World Health Organization announced a new COVID-19 variant—Omicron—had surfaced in South Africa. The new variant alarmed health officials because it was described as highly transmissible.
Fauci told CNN’s “State of the Union” hosts the Administration is looking at information on cases in the United States very carefully on a daily basis. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to lift that ban in a quite reasonable period of time,” he said.
It could also be the Administration buckling under ridicule for imposing a policy similar to former President Donald Trump’s travel ban, which Biden criticized.
“This morning I was briefed by my chief medical advisor, Dr. Tony Fauci, and the members of our COVID response team, about the Omicron variant, which is spreading through Southern Africa,” Biden said in his Nov. 26 statement. “As a precautionary measure, until we have more information, I am ordering additional air travel restrictions from South Africa and seven other countries.”
That presidential announcement drew swift ridicule on social media, where users quickly reminded Biden the internet is forever. They pulled up an archived tweet where Biden derided a similar Trump ban.
Brit Hume worked at ABC News for 23 years before joining Fox News in 1996. After the President announced his African travel ban, Hume commented on Friday on Biden’s February 2020 post criticizing Trump. “This was Biden on what he called the ‘African Ban’ last year,” Hume noted. “Now he’s imposed one himself.”
“Sounds kinda racist and xenophobic,” said political strategist Arthur Schwartz in a Twitter post.
Former Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell posted his reaction to the Biden ban on African travel to his Twitter account. “Biden’s extended un-American travel ban undermines our nation’s core values,” Grenell said. “It is clearly driven by hate, not security.” The former intelligence director also blasted the New York Times for their coverage of Trump’s African travel ban.
“Are we allowed to say the @nytimes said travel restrictions were racist?” pondered Grenell.
Fox News “Unfiltered” host Dan Bongino talked smack about Biden’s African travel ban, saying it is “replicating what he himself called racist.”
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