The doors of the United States are still closed to Europe. Concern about the jump in delta-related coronavirus infections, in the US more than tripling in recent weeks, is too great. And so the White House decided to keep for the time being all restrictions on non-essential travel from foreign countries, not just from the Old Continent. This is despite pressure on the Biden administration to reopen borders: not just from allies and partners, but also from airlines and many members of Congress who ultimately see de-pressurization as a breath of fresh air for the economy, starting with the tourism sector.
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Travel, Biden no
“We understand the importance of restoring international travel, but we want to do it in a safe and sustainable way,” explains the White House, which reiterates a line of extreme caution and stresses that another surge in Covid cases is expected due to the coming weeks of the delta variant. So the restrictions will continue even for foreign nationals who want to visit their families in the United States or for immigrants who want to apply for asylum. However, it appeared that there might be some easing, after the Biden administration last month set up a working group with the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada and Mexico to explore possible solutions on how and when to ease the ban. But days ago, Washington froze London first, warning Americans against travel to the United Kingdom, then its neighbors, and extended pressure on people from Canada and Mexico until at least August 21. Then we’ll see, experts say.
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The same fate now befalls Europe, despite pressure from German Chancellor Angela Merkel on her recent visit to the White House, and to other US allies such as Japan or South Korea. This is despite the fact that US tourists are now allowed to travel to the Schengen area and to Canada for those who have been vaccinated. “The situation in the United States is getting worse, we’re seeing an epidemic among the unvaccinated, we’re up against the Americas,” repeated virologist Anthony Fauci, pointing the finger at half of Americans who didn’t even make the first dose. Meanwhile, the director of the Institute of Infectious Diseases and an advisor to President Biden warns of the risks of further pandemic waves in the future.
For this reason, she suggests funding a program aimed at developing vaccine prototypes that protect against at least 20 families from viruses and the risk of a new catastrophe. A task that should be entrusted to a highly specialized team of scientists and experts, but at very high costs. The costs could be around a few billion dollars a year, with at least five years of work to get to the first results. But for Fauci, this is the only way to prevent other epidemic risks, possibly linked to the virus that causes Lassa fever, the Ebola virus, or the Nipah virus, another horrific virus that comes from bats.
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