Omicron Variant: Stricter Covid Testing For Air Travelers But Not At Border

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  • Source: UncoverDC
  • 09/19/2023

The Biden administration is allegedly set to impose stricter testing and quarantine requirements on travelers because of the Coronavirus Omicron variant, even though he stated he wasn't planning to mandate more stringent requirements on Monday. In contrast, migrants illegally crossing the border in droves are not held to the same standard.

A Nov. 26 CDC press release announced the World Health Organization's (WHO) classification of the new variant, B.1.1.529, naming it Omicron.

Nov. 30 Press Briefing/Omicron

The CDC is allegedly weighing its options for testing restrictions and increasing surveillance at four major airports. According to the Director of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the restrictions include but may not be limited to "pre-departure testing closer to the time of flight and additional post-arrival testing and self-quarantine."

In a Nov. 30 White House COVID-19 press briefing, Dr. Rochelle Walensky said that the CDC is "expanding its surveillance program with XpresCheck at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, and John F. Kennedy International Airport. Four of the busiest international airports in this country."

The XpresCheck program offers "accurate COVID-19 testing right in the terminal, [with] several different COVID-19 tests for patients age 5 and older."

The Biden administration imposed an air travel ban on travelers from South Africa and seven other countries on Nov. 26, a ban that became official on Nov. 29. The seven countries include Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, and Malawi, located in Southern Africa. Travelers from these countries are banned regardless of vaccination status. The travel ban was put in place "to buy time" to figure out how to manage the new variant.

A South African doctor, Angelique Coetzee, was allegedly the first doctor to spot the variant, saying that symptoms appear extremely mild in the patients she has seen so far. Coetzee is the chairwoman of the South African Medical Association. As reported by

"South Africa announced the identification of a new variant on Nov. 25, saying a few cases had first been identified in neighboring Botswana and then others had followed in Tshwane, the municipal area in which Pretoria is located."

In a Dec. 1 press briefing, Anthony Fauci announced that a fully vaccinated individual returned from South Africa on Nov. 22 and tested positive on Nov. 29.

"The individual is self quarantining, and all close contacts have been contacted, and all close contacts, thus far, have tested negative. We feel good that this patient not only had mild symptoms but actually the symptoms appear to be improving."

Fauci and the CDC continue to talk up the jab and boosters, warning the Omicron variant could "evade" available treatments like monoclonal antibodies. Evidence is mounting to indicate that vaccines have been established as "leaky" because they do not prevent the spread of the virus or fully protect an individual from getting the disease. Mass vaccination may even result in the mutation and strengthening of the virus—a phenomenon called Antibody-Dependent Enhancement (ADE).

Nevertheless, the CDC continues to aggressively promote vaccines and multiple boosters as the primary solution for the pandemic, as evidenced in their statement on Wednesday.

Additionally, the CDC has required all airlines flying from the eight restricted African countries to turn over passenger manifests. An order issued by the CDC on Oct. 25 requires "airlines and other aircraft operators to collect contact information for passengers before their arrival into the United States from a foreign country, retain the information for 30 days, and transmit the information to CDC upon request."

As the CDC and Fauci plan to implement these restrictions, Americans ask why our borders are still open to illegal immigrants who are not tested with the same level of care as those who travel here legally. More often than not, illegal aliens crossing the border are given masks and crammed into buses when they are then, in many cases, taken to interior cities.

Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed on Oct. 19 that illegals are being flown into the country in the early hours of the morning "as a part of our reunification process." Only those with the most obvious symptoms are being tested. Fauci told reporter Peter Doocy immigrants crossing the border "are a different issue," invoking title 42.

"There are protections at the border that you don't have the capability, as you know, if somebody getting on a plane, getting checked, looking at a passport. We don't have that there. But we can get some degree of mitigation," said Fauci. "There is testing at the border under certain circumstances, as you know."

An Oct. 12 press release from Secretary Mayorkas amended travel restrictions for foreigners "allowing travelers from Mexico and Canada who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 to enter the United States for non-essential purposes, including to visit friends and family or for tourism, via land and ferry border crossings." However, beginning in January 2022:

"DHS will require that all inbound foreign national travelers crossing U.S. land or ferry POEs—whether for essential or non-essential reasons—be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and provide related proof of vaccination," continues the press release. "This new travel system will create consistent, stringent protocols for all foreign nationals traveling to the United States—whether by air, land, or ferry—and accounts for the wide availability of COVID-19 vaccinations."

Andrew Arthur, with the Center for Immigration Study, writes of the disparate policies for COVID testing between foreigners entering legally and migrants crossing American borders illegally. Calling the Biden administration "tone deaf" on the issue of parity in COVID testing, Arthur says there are simply no "consistent, stringent COVID protocols for illegal migrants traveling to the United States."

"While unexceptional by themselves, the new policies are in stark contrast to the Biden administration's vaccination requirements for migrants crossing the land borders illegally—of which there are none. Further, as I explained in August, illegal migrants are not even tested for Covid before they are released from DHS custody (and almost all are released into the interior)."

"The responsibility for testing has been borne by local governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), but nothing prevents illegal migrants who test positive for COVID and are placed into voluntary isolation (usually by the same NGOs) from walking away. Further, local officials have complained that they have not been informed that those migrants are being housed in their communities."

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