Dec 5, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Fauci: U.S. reevaluating African travel restrictions "daily"


Screenshot: CNN's "State of the Union."

Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on Sunday that the United States is reevaluating the travel restrictions from south African countries "on a daily basis."

Why it matters: Last week, the World Health Organization called on countries not to impose such travel bans in the wake of the Omicron variant, saying the restrictions "place a heavy burden on lives and livelihoods."

What they're saying: The "ban was done at a time when we were really in the dark," Fauci told host CNN "State of the Union" host Jake Tapper.

  • "We had no idea what was going on except this seemed to have been an explosion of cases in South Africa," he added.
  • "We all feel very badly about the hardship that might have [been] put upon not only South Africa but the other African countries."

Fauci also said that the data was "encouraging regarding the severity" of Omicron but cautioned that it was "too early" to make any definitive statements.

"We really gotta be careful before we make any determinations that it is less severe or really doesn't cause any severe illness comparable to Delta," he said.

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