Dr. Anthony Fauci, National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director, is warning against “overreacting” to a mutated strain of coronavirus spreading in parts of the United Kingdom and does not yet want restrictions on flights to and from the country.
In a Monday interview with CNN, Fauci, who also serves as a member of the White House coronavirus task force, said that the United States should “without a doubt keep an eye” on the new strain, but “we don’t want to overreact.”
“Follow it carefully, but don’t overreact to it,” he added.
In a separate statement, White House coronavirus testing chief Adm. Brett Giroir said travel restrictions were discussed with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) over the weekend.
“I think we’re waiting for CDC kind of recommendations. Last night, talking to Dr. Redfield, there was not a recommendation for that. Again, every hour we get more information. I think, as we have done and we need to do, we need to listen to the best experts,” Giroir stated.
Giroir also left the door open for a crackdown on travel from the U.K.
“I think everything is possible,” he said. “We just need to put everything on the table, have an open scientific discussion and make a best recommendation.”
Earlier Monday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) urged the Trump administration to bar travel from the U.K.
Cuomo asked during a press briefing: “Why don’t we mandate testing before people get on the flight or halt the flights from the U.K. now? Many other countries have done this.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) issued a similar call.
Thus far, the following countries have restricted travel via the U.K. due to the new virus strain: France, Canada, Ireland, Chile, Colombia, Hong Kong, Estonia, and Poland.