Despite national/international pressure, Biden administration stands firm
WASHINGTON, D.C. (KYMA, KECY/CNN) - After a senior level meeting Friday evening, President Joe Biden's administration announces Monday morning that they intend on keeping existing coronavirus-related travel restrictions in place.
A White Official reveals that Wednesday's announcement from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security prompted the discussions. The Center for Disease Control's (CDC) recent advisory against traveling to the United Kingdom was also taken into consideration.
"Given where we are today with the Delta variant, the United States will maintain existing travel restrictions at this point," the White House official shares.
The Biden administration expects rising COVID-19 numbers in the coming months. Though it has been facing pressure from the traveling industry and American Allies to lift travel bans, the White House remains firm on being guided by public health/medical officials.
Along with the European Union, Britain, Canada and Mexico, president Biden's team helped launch interagency working groups last month. Overseen by the White House COVID-19 Response Team, these groups include representatives from the Departments of State, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security and Transportation, and CDC.
"The administration understands the importance of international travel and is united in wanting to reopen international travel in a safe and sustainable manner," the White House official says. "The reopening process is guided by the science and public health."
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the President's chief medical adviser and the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Sunday that the U.S. was "going in the wrong direction" as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise, particularly among unvaccinated Americans.