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Biden and Fauci’s Omicron travel ban ‘worse than useless’: critics

Critics took aim Saturday at White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci and President Biden for their “worse than useless” response to the highly contagious Omicron variant of COVID-19.

“No worries, travel ban begins next week because you know, variants don’t spread on holiday weekends,” Republican Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky scoffed on Twitter. “Who really believes this variant isn’t already here?”

The Fauci-approved weekend-long delay in launching the ban on travel from Omicron-infected African countries angered City Councilman Joe Borelli (R-SI).

“Why do people still take this man seriously?” Borelli, the chamber’s new minority leader, asked. “Either this is a life or death emergency, or it doesn’t need to happen. It seems like this is a lockdown for the sake of lockdowns.”

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) decried “the stunning hypocrisy of Democrats” regarding COVID travel bans during the last 20 months.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director, suggested there are already cases of the Omicron COVID-19 variant in the US.
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“When President Trump took bold and decisive action in February 2020 to impose travel restrictions into the United States from coronavirus hot spots, Joe Biden attacked him, calling this decision a disgrace and xenophobic,” said Stefanik — who has called for Fauci to be fired over the gain-of-function funding controversy.

And Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) condemned the Biden administration’s too-little, too-late travel measure as “worse than useless.”

A passenger holds his mobile phone while looking at an electronic flight notice board displaying cancelled flights at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg on November 27, 2021, after several countries banned flights from South Africa following the discovery of a new Covid-19 variant Omicron. - A flurry of countries around the world have banned ban flights from southern Africa following the discovery of the variant, including the United States, Canada, Australia,Thailand, Brazil and several European countries. The main countries targeted by the shutdown include South Africa, Botswana, eSwatini (Swaziland), Lesotho, Namibia, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. (Photo by Phill Magakoe / AFP) (Photo by PHILL MAGAKOE/AFP via Getty Images)
Rep. Elise Stefanik complained about President Joe Biden introducing travel bans when he called former President Donald Trump’s previous flight bans “xenophobic.”
AFP via Getty Images
Numerous flights were canceled in response to the emerging Omicron COVID-19 variant at OR Thambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa on Nov. 27, 2021.
Numerous flights were canceled in response to the emerging Omicron COVID-19 variant at OR Thambo International Airport in Johannesburg on Nov. 27, 2021.
EPA/KIM LUDBROOK

“Joe Biden and Tony Fauci push crushing restrictions on Americans—like masking two-year-olds—that are pointless,” Cotton tweeted Saturday. “But when it comes to targeted travel bans to protect American citizens, it’s nothing but incompetence and half measures from this White House.”

Meanwhile, AIDS activist James Krellenstein blasted Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), for refusing to sponsor genetic sequencing studies that would uncover new variants before they can take root.

Stranded passengers crowd around at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa on Nov. 27, 2021 after many countries banned incoming flights.
Stranded passengers crowd around at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg on Nov. 27, 2021 after many countries banned incoming flights.
AFP via Getty Images
Passengers read flights becoming delayed at the International Terminal 4 in JFK airport in Queens on Nov. 27, 2021.
Passengers was being delayed at JFK’s Terminal 4 on Nov. 27, 2021.
BRIGITTE STELZER

“In the rare cases where travel bans work, it’s when we can detect the spread of a new variant extremely quickly,” Krellenstein tweeted.

“It’s why a lot of us are so pissed at Fauci,” he continued. “We (myself including) have been yelling for months for NIAID to increase funding for global sequencing coverage. Tony doesn’t do this, then he implements a travel ban that will do nothing.”

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