Biden not planning vaccine mandates for domestic travel ‘at this point’

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The United States will not see a vaccine mandate “at this point” for domestic travel, President Biden said on Friday, as at least five states, including New York, have been diagnosed with the Omicron coronavirus disease.

After delivering commentary on a November jobs report, Biden was pressured over a recently announced international travel mandate requiring all air travelers to test negative for the virus within a day of their flight, not within three days.

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“Are you considering requirements for domestic travel or any other new solutions for domestic travel?” A journalist asked the President.

“The measures I announced yesterday – we believe – are sufficient to deal with the spread of this new variant with the appropriate medical precautions,” Biden said. “We’re doing — as you know, at the NIH as well as among manufacturers — there’s a lot of research to see how fast it spreads, how deadly it is, etc.

President Biden said he had “just a cold” while speaking to reporters on Friday.
AP
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“But we need travel, we will continue to require people to put on masks, masks. and in public places and federal buildings.

“So, but I’m not at this point, because I mean, I think I know quite a bit about the issue. But I’m not a scientist,” Biden continued. “That’s why I trust scientists. I continue and ask them whether or not to move on from what we did yesterday. Right now, they’re saying no.”

Friday’s remarks caught the attention of many, as Biden, 79, spoke with an unusually deep, hoarse voice. The president later blamed the unusual tone on “just a cold”.

Press briefing by the White House COVID-19 Response Team and public health officials.
The Biden administration said it was not planning any new measures for domestic travel.
the White House. Government

“I’m fine. I have a test every day to see, a COVID test, they check me for all strains,” Biden said when asked about his new voice. “I have 1 1/2 year-old grandson who had a cold who likes to kiss his pop.”

“And he was kissing … but it’s just a winter,” he said.

The international travel change comes days after the administration announced travel restrictions on several South African countries where the Omicron variant was first detected. Its high number of mutations means it may be more contagious, although this has yet to be proven.

All international passengers must test negative for COVID-19 within a day of their flight.
EPA

Critics slammed the travel ban, similar to the language used by Biden when he criticized former President Donald Trump’s travel ban on China and European countries at the start of the coronavirus pandemic – especially when many countries under Biden’s ban Were not reporting any cases. of variants.

On Thursday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked why the travel ban “still makes sense” now in several states, O’Microon reported.

Psaki claimed that the call was “not a decision taken from the White House,” but was “always based on a recommendation from our public health and medical experts.”

Dr. Manjul Shukla transfers the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to a syringe.
Officials worry the Omicron variant may be more dangerous than previous strains, but scientists still need more data.
AP

“He has advised, many days ago, [for] The president has decided to ban a group of countries where we are seeing the variant – especially in South Africa – because of concerns about the spread of thousands of cases and the spread to neighboring countries,” she said. Will evaluate whether those restrictions – any of these restrictions – should be expanded.”

Later at the briefing, he had a heated conversation with Today News Africa’s White House correspondent Simon Ateba, who accused him of lying about the rationale for the ban, saying, “You’re saying something that’s wrong. “

A day earlier, Ateba had pressurized White House health adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci on the matter.

Girl with Banded.
Omicron has been detected in five states, including some cases in New York.
AP

“There are zero cases of COVID – Omicron in Zimbabwe, in Namibia, in Lesotho, in Mozambique,” ​​Ateba asked. “What is the rationale for imposing travel restrictions on countries that have zero cases of the Omicron variant?

“You know, it’s a very good question and an important question, and we fought with it,” Fauci replied. “But we wanted to see if we could buy time temporarily, so I hope this is sorted out and removed before it makes any significant impact on your country.”

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