Biden Announces New Travel Restrictions in Response to New COVID Variant


The Delta variant of COVID-19 may be gone, but another variation of the virus has already taken its place.

This new variation, dubbed “Omicron” by World Health Organization officials, has reportedly sprouted up in South Africa in recent weeks, according to Fox News.

Because of this, on Friday, President Joe Biden announced his administration will be placing new travel restrictions on the country of South Africa.

Interestingly, many media members and prominent Democrats — including Biden himself — once insinuated that former President Donald Trump’s travel ban on China was racist.

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Despite this, the Biden administration will be implementing the new ban in accordance with advice given by Dr. Anthony Fauci and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“This morning I was briefed by my chief medical advisor, Dr. Tony Fauci, and the members of our COVID response team, about the Omicron variant, which is spreading through Southern Africa,” Biden said in a statement, according to Fox News.

“As a precautionary measure until we have more information, I am ordering additional air travel restrictions from South Africa and seven other countries. These new restrictions will take effect on November 29.”

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Biden then went on to double down on his typical vaccination rhetoric, suggesting pandemic restrictions will not end until the entire world is vaccinated.

“The news about this new variant should make clearer than ever why this pandemic will not end until we have global vaccinations,” Biden continued.

“I call on the nations gathering next week for the World Trade Organization ministerial meeting to meet the U.S. challenge to waive intellectual property protections for COVID vaccines, so these vaccines can be manufactured globally.”

The WHO announced its discovery of the new variant on Thursday, claiming it has more mutations than previous strains. Also, Omicron reportedly has the potential to evade antibodies.

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In addition to South Africa, the new variant has reportedly also been seen in Israel and Hong Kong.

Reportedly due to Omicron rearing its head, stocks began to tumble on Black Friday.

At one point, the Dow Jones was down between 900 and 1,000 points, or approximately 2.5 percent. Additionally, the S&P 500 fell by roughly 100 points, or about two percent, while the Nasdaq took a near 300-point dip, approximating a 3 percent loss.

Bloomberg reported that the oil industry wasn’t faring much better.

In West Texas, the price of oil fell to below 10 percent, coming out at about $70 per barrel, while global oil was down to a similar $75 per barrel.

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Michael Austin joined The Western Journal as a staff reporter in 2020. Since then, he has authored hundreds of stories, including numerous original reports. He also co-hosts the outlet's video podcast, "WJ Live."
Michael Austin graduated from Iowa State University in 2019. During his time in college, Michael volunteered as a social media influencer for both PragerU and Live Action. After graduation, he went on to work as a freelance journalist for various entertainment news sites before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter.

Since then, Michael has been promoted to the role of supervising staff reporter. His responsibilities now include directing the reporting team.
Ames, Iowa
Iowa State University
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