Michael Osterholm, a coronavirus adviser to President-elect Joe Biden and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, said on CNN’s New Day Tuesday the focus needs to stay on preventing Covid-19 cases in the United States – and he wouldn’t change any current coronavirus-related travel restrictions.
“At this point, I wouldn’t change anything that we’re talking about in terms of restrictions, let’s take a look at them and see what’s really meaningful,” Osterholm said, following a move by President Donald Trump to lift coronavirus-related travel restrictions imposed on Brazil and parts of Europe.
Osterholm said that the focus has to stay on preventing cases linked to currently high rates of new cases and hospitalizations.
“Keep our eyes focused on the ball, which is what’s happening right here in the United States now,” he said.
Some background: On Monday, the White House released text of a new executive order by Trump that would lift coronavirus-related travel restrictions imposed on Brazil and much of Europe starting on Jan. 26.
However, the incoming Biden administration said that the order would not be implemented, with incoming press secretary Jen Psaki tweeting, “with the pandemic worsening, and more contagious variants emerging around the world, this is not the time to be lifting restrictions on international travel.”
Psaki added, “On the advice of our medical team, the Administration does not intend to lift these restrictions on 1/26. In fact, we plan to strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of Covid-19.”