New Delhi: A group of Republican senators, led by Marco Rubio, have written to President Joe Biden, calling for a ban on travel between the United States and China until more is known about a respiratory illness that has been rapidly spreading in the Asian country.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has requested that China furnish comprehensive information concerning a recent spike in respiratory illnesses and pneumonia clusters among children.
“Dear Mr President, in light of an unknown respiratory illness spreading throughout the People’s Republic of China (PRC), we call on you to immediately restrict travel between the United States and the PRC. As you know, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has a long history of lying about public health crises. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the CCP’s obfuscation of the truth, and lack of transparency, robbed the United States of vital knowledge about the disease and its origin,” the letter from Senators Rubio, JD Vance, Rick Scott, Tommy Tuberville, and Mike Braun.
Throughout the Covid pandemic, the WHO repeatedly raised concerns about the lack of openness and collaboration demonstrated by Chinese authorities in their handling of the pandemic.
“We should not wait for the WHO to take action given its track record of slavish deference to the CCP. We must take the necessary steps to protect the health of Americans, and our economy. That means we should immediately restrict travel between the United States and China until we know more about the dangers posed by this new illness. A ban on travel now could save our country from death, lockdowns, mandates, and further outbreaks later,” the letter added.
The senators defended former US President Donald Trump’s decision to restrict travel from China to the United States in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. The travel ban, which was implemented on January 31 2020, was met with criticism from many, who accused Trump of “xenophobia” and “discrimination”, the letter claims.
However, the Senators argued that the travel ban was the right decision.
“History and common sense show his decision was the right one,” the letter reads.
What China Says
Addressing concerns surrounding a recent rise in respiratory illnesses in China, Foreign Minister Wang Yi asserted that it is a prevalent global issue and that Chinese authorities are effectively managing the situation.
“Recently we have seen some clusters of flu cases among children in certain parts of China. In fact, that is a very common phenomenon in many countries, and in China that has been put under effective control,” Mr Wang said as quoted by news agency AFP. “China’s interactions with the international community will not be affected by any factors, and we welcome more visits from friends from across the world.”
Source: NDTV World