New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday that the Covid-19 variant first identified in the UK is the biggest challenge facing New York City and called for a ban on travel from Britain.
“Right now, this UK variant is the number one challenge we face,” de Blasio told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “Our healthcare leadership here in New York City, they say we are racing against time to vaccinate the maximum people before that UK variant spreads like wildfire.”
Health experts say the new variant, also known as B.1.1.7, is likely more contagious but not more deadly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last week the spread of B.1.1.7 could accelerate the spread of the virus in the United States.
Mayor de Blasio said he’s against lifting coronavirus-related restrictions on travel into the US. In fact, he said he’s in favor of shutting down travel from the UK to the US.
“I hope President-elect Biden would put a travel ban on Britain until we get to a much greater point of vaccination in this country,” he said.
“We just can't take the chance.”