Angry Gov. Cuomo Calls For Ban On U.K. Flights As Dangerous COVID-19 Variant Surges
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Sunday called on the Trump administration to ban travel to the UK or require mandatory testing as a new, much more dangerous strain of the coronavirus emerges there.
The new variant in the UK could be "up to 70% more transferable" than the current version, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned at a press conference on Saturday.
"Today this variant gets on a plane and lands at JFK," Cuomo said in a statement.
"How many times in life do you have to make the same mistake before learning?" he asked, citing a lack of action against the pandemic by the Trump administration. “Just like spring, the federal government is grossly negligent. All it takes is one person, ”he noted to transmit the virus.
"We did absolutely nothing," added Cuomo. "For me that is reprehensible." He said the thought that the variant might have already crossed the sea to New York "kept me up last night".
At least six European nations - the Netherlands, France, Austria, Belgium, Italy and Germany - have already suspended all flights to the UK or are on the verge of stopping them. However, the US has not taken any new measures. Up to 120 countries - but not the US - require travelers to have a negative COVID test before leaving the UK.
Foreigners are currently prohibited from flying to the US if they have been to a European country and another country in the last 14 days. But American citizens are free to fly back and forth. There are currently six daily flights from the UK to New York, according to Cuomo.
The UK this week rolled out tough new coronavirus restrictions on England, with particularly tough restrictions in the southeast, east and London, where households are prohibited from mixing even over Christmas.
The government announced the terrifying transmission rates of the new tribe when cases surfaced in southern and eastern regions of England. The strain was first detected in September, but its transmission rates were only recently understood.
The new overseas threat arises as the US grapples with a record number of cases and deaths. A spike is expected to increase after Thanksgiving as cases increase after the winter break. The US death toll is close to 318,000 and there have been nearly 18 million cases.
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