Here’s what is happeneing.
A letter penned by a team of senators, comprising Marco Rubio, JD Vance, Rick Scott, Tommy Tuberville, and Mike Braun, has been sent to President Biden, urging the implementation of a travel ban on China in response to a worrisome surge in an unknown respiratory illness within the nation.
Drafted on Friday, the missive underscores the pressing need to curb travel between the U.S. and China until a more thorough understanding of the risks associated with the newfound illness is obtained. China has witnessed a rise in unexplained cases of childhood pneumonia and other respiratory ailments.
The letter highlights China’s historical lack of transparency during public health crises, advocating for swift measures to protect the health of Americans and the economy. It points out the Chinese Communist Party’s withholding of information during the COVID-19 pandemic, emphasizing the importance of avoiding a repeat of such behavior.
The senators stress the urgency of implementing a travel ban to mitigate potential threats posed by the new illness, asserting that timely restrictions could prevent fatalities, lockdowns, mandates, and future outbreaks. They draw parallels with the success of former President Donald Trump’s travel ban on China, enacted on January 31, 2020, as a precedent for decisive action.
In addressing criticisms of Trump’s decision as “xenophobic,” the letter argues that history and common sense validate the effectiveness of that measure. The senators reference China’s reports of an escalating mystery illness, purportedly pneumonia caused by known pathogens since mid-October, particularly affecting children and straining hospitals in the northern regions of the country.
While the World Health Organization remains uncertain about whether the disease results from a general increase in respiratory infections or distinct events, the senators express concern based on historical precedents. They underscore the need for proactive measures to gather more information and shield the nation from potential health hazards.