DR. FAUCI warned the U.S. government not to “overreact” with travel bans to and from the United Kingdom despite a new mutated strand of Covid-19.
The nation’s leading infectious disease expert advised the White House and other officials that although the U.S. must “without a doubt, keep an eye on it,” he said it would not warrant a travel ban just yet.
Dr. Fauci said the government should not “overreact” and issue a travel ban on the UKCredit: NBC NEWS / TODAY
The mutant strain is estimated to be over 70 percent more infectiousCredit: Alamy Live News
“We don’t want to overreact,” Fauci told CNN Monday, before saying he advises against suspending flights from the United Kingdom were he to be asked in a White House coronavirus task force meeting.
Joining Fauci in his calls to be cautious but not reactionary is Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield, who urged Admiral Brett Giroir – another member of the coronavirus task force – not to add travel restrictions.
Fauci said he didn’t want to criticize other countries for instilling such U.K. travel bans but said the American government should keep an eye on it.
“Follow it carefully,” Fauci said, “but don’t overreact to it.”
Dr. Robert Redfield also sided with Dr. Fauci not to issue new travel bansCredit: Reuters
Dr. Fauci said the medical community is keeping an eye on the strainCredit: Reuters
He said the United Kingdom is doing the best they can by closely monitoring the strain, with England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty warning the strain “can spread more quickly” and was responsible for over 60 percent of new infections in London.
The “superstrain” was not, however, responsible for more deaths in the country, nor is there evidence to suggest it would be immune to the newly approved vaccines.
A number of countries in Europe, the Middle East, and North and South America have imposed travel restrictions on the United Kingdom, requiring travelers to quarantine and undergo coronavirus testing.
Canada announced a travel ban starting Sunday at midnight for 72 hours, while Argentina, Chile and Colombia have suspended all direct flights to and from the UK.
Giroir, head of the White House’s coronavirus testing initiative, said there wasn’t any information on a possible UK travel ban due to the new strain.
“I think we’re waiting for CDC kind of recommendations. Last night, talking to Dr. Redfield, there was not a recommendation for that,” Giroir said. “Again, every hour we get more information. I think, as we have done and we need to do, we need to listen to the best experts.”
Numerous countries have already issued a travel ban on the UKCredit: Alamy Live News
UK prime minister Boris Johnson has disclosed that there is no evidence the new strain is immune to the newly released vaccinesCredit: AP:Associated Press
“I think everything is possible. We just need to put everything on the table, have an open scientific discussion and make a best recommendation,” he continued.
In a rare show of agreement in New York, both Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio called for federal restrictions instituted on flights to and from the United Kingdom in light of the new strain.
The two called on the U.S. to follow suit as other countries have done by banning flights.
Cuomo called the new strain “very concerning,” given it was an estimated 70 percent more transmissible than the original. “Why are we doing nothing?” Cuomo asked.
“Why don’t we act intelligently for a change?” Cuomo asked. “Why don’t we mandate testing before people get on the flight or halt the flights from the U.K. now? Many other countries have done this.”
The mayor echoed similar thoughts. “It’s really in my view it’s time for a travel ban from Europe given what we’re seeing with this new strain or at minimum a requirement that anyone getting on a plane has proof that they have a negative test if they’re coming out of Europe.”
“We need to be aggressive,” he added. “This is a decisive moment. If we get it right now, if we’re careful during the holidays and we give time for the vaccine to be distributed we can really turn the corner.”