The incoming Biden administration will reverse President Trump's last-minute order to lift COVID-19 related travel restrictions, Jen Psaki, the incoming White House press secretary, tweeted.
Why it matters: President Trump ordered entry bans lifted for travelers from the U.K., Ireland, Brazil and much of Europe to go into effect Jan. 26, but the Biden administration will "strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19," Jen Psaki said. Biden will be inaugurated on Wednesday, Jan. 20 and Trump will no longer be president by the time the order is set to go into effect.
- "With the pandemic worsening, and more contagious variants emerging around the world, this is not the time to be lifting restrictions on international travel."
The big picture: Trump has touted the travel ban as one of his greatest accomplishments during the pandemic, claiming that the ban has saved “thousands” of lives.
- Lifting the restrictions for these countries is now "the best way to continue protecting Americans from COVID-19 while enabling travel to resume safely," Trump said in a statement.
- His order also calls out China and Iran for failing to cooperate with U.S. public health officials.
Of note: Since the U.S. government did not track the spread of coronavirus,t’s unclear what effect the ban has had on limiting coronavirus spread.