Trevor Noah blasts Joe Biden’s South Africa travel ban as ‘bulls***’

Biden banned travel from South Africa and a number of other countries over the Omicron variant

Sam Moore
Tuesday 30 November 2021 18:17
Democratic debate: Joe Biden heckled over deportation

Trevor Noah has hit out as President Joe Biden’s ban on travel from South Africa and multiple other countries over the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

Last Friday (26 November), the White House announced new rules that restricted travel between the US and several African nations as the virus continued to spread across the region.

Criticising the decision on The Daily Show, the comedian said: “As a South African, I think this travel ban is total bulls***.”

He added: “Omicron has already been done in over a dozen countries around the world. We don’t know where it started. We don’t know how long it’s been around. It’s everywhere – from Hong Kong, to Israel, to Spain.”

Noah also slammed the decision to only ban travel between the US and African countries despite the fact the variant has already spread across the globe, including to the UK. Noah said: “Why aren’t you banning travel from all of those countries too? Huh? Only the African countries? I still don’t get the logic. You think Omicron is going to get to Europe and then just decide to stay there?”

He also said that the decision to ban travel between countries will also negatively affect the reporting of new variants of the virus: “You do realise that other countries are paying attention. And they realise that if they’re going to get punished for telling the world about new variants, they’re going to stop telling the world whenever their scientists discover new variants.”

As well as South Africa, Biden’s travel ban affects Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, Lesotho, Eswatini and Namibia.

South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, has also criticised the travel ban. He said there was no scientific basis for the ban and would further damage South Africa’s economy.

Ramaphosa said: “The only thing the prohibition on travel will do is to further damage the economies of the affected countries and undermine their ability to respond to, and recover from, the pandemic.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in