Coronavirus live updates: Biden admin won’t lift COVID travel restrictions after Trump announces changes for UK, Europe


Coronavirus live updates: Biden admin won’t lift COVID travel restrictions after Trump announces changes for UK, Europe

The Trump admin previously announced Monday they would be lifted.

A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now infected more than 95 million people worldwide and killed over 2 million of them, according to real-time data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

Pfizer says it can’t sell vaccines directly to New York

Hours after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo sent a letter to Pfizer asking if the state could purchase its vaccine directly, the pharmaceutical giant said it needs federal approval to do so.A representative said at this time it cannot sell the vaccine directly to states and would need approval from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to meet Cuomo’s request.

“Pfizer is open to collaborating with HHS on a distribution model that gives as many Americans as possible access to our vaccine as quickly as possible,” the company said in a statement Monday.

Biden admin wont lift travel restrictions for UK, Europe, Brazil

Shortly after the Trump administration announced it would be lifting COVID travel restrictions for the U.K., parts of Europe and Brazil, the incoming Biden team said that would not be the case.Jen Psaki, incoming White House press secretary for President-elect Joe Biden, tweeted that the new administration doesn’t intend to lift the travel restrictions on Jan. 26.

“With the pandemic worsening, and more contagious variants emerging around the world, this is not the time to be lifting restrictions on international travel,” she tweeted. “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.”

Trump issued a proclamation Monday night, announcing he will rescind travel bans for non-U.S. citizens from Brazil, the United Kingdom and much of Europe next week.

The travel bans were put in place at the start of the pandemic following calls from health officials who urged the president to stop the spread of the virus.

The restrictions will be removed starting Jan. 26, the same day that all travelers must present a negative coronavirus test or proof of recovery from COVID-19 to enter the United States.

“Public health officials in the jurisdictions have a proven record of working with the United States to share accurate and timely COVID-19 testing and trend data, and the United States has active collaborations with the jurisdictions regarding how to make travel safe between our respective countries,” the proclamation said.

The U.K. and Europe bans were instituted in March, while the Brazil ban was implemented in May.

-ABC News’ Elizabeth Thomas

LA Fire Department sees positivity rate plummet after most firefighters get vaccinated

The Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD) saw its COVID-19 testing positivity rate fall significantly after 75% of firefighters on the force received their first COVID-19 vaccine.When the first vaccines were being rolled out in late December, weekly LACoFD positivity rates reached 18%, roughly equivalent to positivity rates in the county’s general population. Today, after three-quarters of the force opted to get vaccinated, the LACoFD positivity rate has fallen to 5.6%.

“As expected, the vaccine began to have its impact seven to 10 days after the first vaccines were given,” Dr. Clayton Kazan, the department’s medical director, said in a statement. “This is the first time in the entire pandemic that our data diverged from that of the county,” he added.

This week, firefighters will start receiving their second dose of the two-dose vaccine.

-ABC News’ Matthew Fuhrman contributed to this report.

WHO director criticizes deals between rich countries, vaccine makers

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, took aim at rich countries hoarding the COVID-19 vaccine and the pharmaceutical companies profiting off of it, during a WHO executive board meeting Monday.”It’s right that all governments want to prioritize vaccinating their own health workers and older people first,” Tedros said. “But it’s not right that younger, healthier adults in rich countries are vaccinated before health workers and older people in poorer countries.”

Tedros pointed to one of the lowest income countries in the world, which he did not name. “Just 25 doses have been given,” he said. “Not 25 million, not 25,000 — just 25. I need to be blunt: The world is on the brink of a catastrophic moral failure.”

The deals rich countries have made with vaccine producers are putting the effectiveness of COVAX, the WHO’s global vaccine-sharing program, at risk by driving up prices, according to Tedros. “This could delay COVAX deliveries and create exactly the scenario COVAX was designed to avoid, with hoarding, a chaotic market, an uncoordinated response and continued social and economic disruption,” he added.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here