Washington, D.C. (Washington Insider Magazine) – Should the United States lift the travel ban that is on many foreign countries? There are many people voicing their opinions both inside and outside of the Biden administration. The real question is whether or not this ban is still necessary in fighting against Covid-19.
People who are against the ban point to Jeff Zients, the coordinator of the White House’s coronavirus pandemic response. According to people familiar with this subject, they say that the main obstacle “standing in the way of easing the longstanding restriction” is Zients. Some of the people who have grown frustrated with Zients are now trying to find a way around him by taking their cases to other top officials.
European governments, members of Congress, and travel industries are putting pressure on President Joe Biden to lift restrictions. There are special pressures on people who have been stranded in foreign countries and not able to get back to America. The argument is that this ban is “costing billions of dollars, hundreds of thousands of jobs, and separating families.”
In June, restrictions were lifted in Europe for fully vaccinated American travelers. In mid-August, Canada plans on opening its border to Americans.
Representative Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.) said, “I think the American people are owed an explanation: What the hell happened?” Higgins was one of 75 lawmakers who has begged Biden to “begin taking science-based, data-driven steps to safely reopen international travel to the United States.”
According to a Senate aide, Senator Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) and Senator Rick Scott (R-Fla.) are both putting together a letter to send to Biden.
If travelers coming to the U.S. can prove that they are fully vaccinated or if they have proof of a negative Covid test, then there are senior officials in Biden’s administration who say that they should be allowed into America. According to two senior administration officials, “administration remains resistant to asking businesses, including airlines, to require proof of vaccination.”
The White House will not concede to having a vaccine passport. Conservatives believe that the government would be overreaching as well as discriminating against people who do not want to get a vaccine.
Apparently, doctors at the White House are in favor of vaccination proof. The holdup is Jeff Zients. A physician in touch with the White House said, Zients “thinks there are real political consequences to the Biden team looking like they are pro-vaccine passports. He is thinking politically, but, scientifically, proof of vaccination is everything.”