Fauci urges calm over new mutant Covid strain

Dozens of countries have put UK travel ban in place

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Monday 21 December 2020 19:53 GMT

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The top US infectious disease expert has urged calm over the new mutant Covid strain detected in the United Kingdom.

And Dr Anthony Fauci says he would also advise against suspending flights from UK airports to the US at a White House coronavirus Taskforce meeting.

Dr Fauci told CNN that health officials should “without a doubt keep an eye on it” but said that “we don’t want to overreact.”

“Follow it carefully, but don’t overreact to it,” he said.

UK health bosses warned over the weekend that the virus mutation “can spread more quickly” and was responsible for 60 per cent of new infections in London.

Dozens of countries across Europe and the Middle East have announced UK travel bans.

New York’s governor Andrew Cuomo and New York mayor Bill de Blasio have both called for the federal government to bring in a travel ban.

“Why don’t we act intelligently for a change?” asked Mr Cuomo on Monday.

“Why don’t we mandate testing before people get on the flight or halt the flights from the UK now? Many other countries have done this.”

British Airways has agreed to test all passengers boarding a flight bound for New York state following discussions with Mr Cuomo’s office.

The governor has also urged Virgin and Delta to follow suit and has threatened to take action if they refuse.

Meanwhile the administration’s coronavirus testing czar, Admiral Brett Giroir, said that the White House would listen to experts before making any decision.

"I think everything is possible. We just need to put everything on the table, have an open scientific discussion and make a best recommendation,” he said.

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