Biden reverses latest COVID travel ban: ‘No longer necessary’

President Joe Biden is ending his recently enacted restrictions on travel from southern Africa in just his latest whiplash reversal in pandemic policy.

In a statement, Biden recognized that the restrictions are “no longer necessary” now that the omicron variant of COVID-19 is the dominant strain in the United States.

“Substantial progress”

According to Fox News, the travel ban applied to most non-U.S. citizens who had recently been in South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Namibia, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe.

Biden enacted it in November — despite criticizing his predecessor’s coronavirus travel bans as “racist” — to slow the spread of the omicron variant. The ban clearly didn’t work, as the omicron wave leads COVID-19 cases in the U.S. to hit all-time records.

In his statement, Biden cited “substantial progress in understanding the omicron variant” from “scientific experts,” but also acknowledged that the variant “is prevalent in the United States,” rendering the ban pointless.

“The travel restrictions imposed by that proclamation are no longer necessary to protect the public health,” the president said.

Biden also boasted that he has introduced other needlessly burdensome restrictions to make international travel “safer,” including a requirement for U.S. citizens to show proof of a negative coronavirus test within one day to return to their own country, even if they’re vaccinated.

Flip-flop Biden

The mandate “has strengthened the already stringent” protocols Biden has introduced, he said, including mask mandates on planes.

But clearly, those “stringent” protocols haven’t done much to prevent the virus from spreading. Americans learned this the hard way last weekend when hundreds of flights were grounded during the Christmas holiday, as CBS News reported.

As panic over the mild omicron variant continues, public health authorities are admonishing Americans about holding New Year’s Eve celebrations. Still, as 2021 comes to a close, there were some hopeful signs that the pandemic hysterics are running out of steam.

Biden left many Americans bewildered this week by declaring that there was “no federal solution” to stopping the virus, despite vowing to “shut down” the pandemic with “science” as a presidential candidate.

Whether Biden’s shift in tone will translate to a more reasonable, hands-off approach to the virus in 2022 is anyone’s guess. But liberal pundits have started to sound a lot like right-wing “conspiracy theorists” recently as they dismiss cloth masks and call for more focus on the severity of cases over case counts.

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