That’s the logic being used by Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to The White House, when asked whether the U.S. should go back to a complete ban on international visitors in the wake of the surging Omicron variant.
The latest strain of the COVID-19 virus is already in 89 countries and almost every state in the U.S., so halting visitors from other countries would have no affect on the spread of Omicron, Fauci said.
“I think when you get to the point when there’s enough of a virus in your own country, it doesn’t really make any sense of trying to keep it out,” Fauci said during an interview with the National Press Club, according to the New York Post. “Because this is spreading so rapidly right now, that input from countries that might even have less infection than we have doesn’t give any added value.”
The U.S. banned international visitors from early 2020 until November 8 of this year, a span of almost 20 months until the Biden Administration lifted the restrictions.
Less than three weeks later, however, The White House banned travel from eight southern African nations after the Omicron variant was discovered by doctors in South Africa.
While it was Fauci’s suggestion that a further ban was not needed, he did say it’s possible the U.S. goes back to a complete international travel ban if Omicron continues to spread.
“We likely are going to pull back on that pretty soon because we have enough infection in our own country, and we’re letting in people from other countries that have as much or more infection than the Southern African countries,” he said.