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Biden South Africa travel ban announced hours after Fauci said White House didn’t know enough to implement ban

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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 achieve this.

On Friday morning, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Biden’s chief medical adviser, instructed CNN that the brand new of COVID-19 spreading via Africa, now named by the World Health Organization (WHO) as Omnicron, was elevating a “red flag that this might be an issue we don’t 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 few travel ban, he added: “Obviously as soon as we find out more information we’ll make a decision as quickly as we possibly can. You always put these things on the table, but you don’t want to say you’re going to do it until you have some scientific reason to do it. That’s the reason why we’re rushing now to get that scientific data to try and make an informed decision about something like that.”

WASHINGTON, DC – NOVEMBER 04: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci testifies earlier than the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee in regards to the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

OMNICRON VARIANT SPREAD: US TO LIMIT TRAVEL FROM 8 SOUTHERN AFRICAN COUNTRIES

He went on to say that “you want to find out if in fact [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 an announcement, Biden indicated that he made the choice after meeting with Fauci.

President Joe Biden attends a virtual COVID-19 summit during the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus, Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Joe Biden attends a digital COVID-19 summit in the course of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, within the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus, Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

“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,” he said. “As a precautionary measure until we have more information, I am ordering additional air travel restrictions from South Africa and seven other countries.”

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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 related travel restrictions. Travel restrictions won’t apply to American residents and lawful everlasting residents, however all worldwide vacationers should check adverse prior to travel. 

Fox News’ Peter Aitken contributed to this report.

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