Critics Slam Biden Over Report He Is Considering Travel Restrictions Against Florida, Other States
Critics slammed Democrat President Joe Biden on Wednesday over a report that his administration is considering implementing domestic travel restrictions on Florida, calling it politically motivated.
While most of the reporting on the measures that the Biden administration is considering appeared to be primarily focused on Florida, they also mentioned California to a slightly lesser extent, undercutting the narrative that the move would be political in nature.
“Outbreaks of the new variants — including a highly contagious one first identified in the United Kingdom, as well as others from South Africa and Brazil that scientists worry can evade existing vaccines — have lent urgency to a review of potential travel restrictions within the United States,” The Associated Press reported Wednesday. “The U.K. variant, known as B.1.1.7, has recently exploded in Florida, where over a third of all cases in the United States have been identified.”
“While COVID-19 cases in Florida have declined in recent weeks, the U.K. variant has spread rapidly in the state during that time,” the report later added. “It now accounts for up to 15% of new cases in Florida, according to estimates from a team of researchers modeling the variant’s growth across the country — up from about 1% at the beginning of January.”
The CDC says that the U.K. variant of the coronavirus “spreads more easily and quickly than other variants” and that experts in the U.K. think that it could be more deadly than other variants, but there needed to be additional studies to confirm whether that was true. For context, British officials have claimed that there are estimated to be up to 4,000 variants of the coronavirus around the world.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) slammed Biden over the idea of travel restrictions, calling it “reckless and economically harmful.” Rubio added, “Instituting a travel ban, or any restriction of movement between the states, would be an outrageous, authoritarian move that has no basis in law or science.”
Since a lot of the reporting mentioned Florida specifically in reference to any potential domestic travel restrictions, critics pointed to the possibility that any such decisions could be politically motivated. The Miami Herald claimed, however, that the Biden administration had not targeted “a specific state” but were focused “on how to prevent the spread of variants that appear to be surging in a number of states, including Florida and California.”
The news comes after the CDC said on Wednesday that people either need to make sure that their masks fit tight on their face or else they should consider wearing two masks.
“With cases, hospitalizations and deaths still very high, now is not the time to roll back mask requirements,” Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said. “The bottom line is this: Masks work, and they work when they have a good fit and are worn correctly.”