Dr. Anthony Fauci — the Biden Administration’s point man for COVID-19 response — confirmed the push for new testing requirements for those entering the country will not include those apprehended at the southern border.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director made a rare appearance in the White House briefing room Wednesday, compared to the previous administration, to discuss the new omicron coronavirus variant.
Fauci discussed the stricter testing requirements the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considering, including getting a negative COVID test result 24-hours before an international flight into the U.S., instead of the current three days, and taking another test within three to five days of arriving in the country.
President Joe Biden announced Thursday his administration was adopting the 24-hour negative testing requirement for international flights.
Fauci also defended the travel ban the president put in place for eight African nations, acknowledging it will not “prevent people who are infected from coming to the United States, but we needed to buy some time to be able to prepare, understand what’s going on — what is the nature of this infection, what is the nature of the transmissibility.”
In light of these responses, Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy asked Fauci, if the new testing requirement includes “everybody.”
“The answer is yes,” the health official responded. “Because you know that the new — the new regulation — if you want to call it that, is that anybody and everybody who’s coming into the country needs to get a test within 24 hours of getting on the plane to come here.”
Doocy on travelers being checked for COVID before entering America: “What about people who don’t take a plane and just these border crossers coming in huge numbers?”
Fauci: “That’s a different issue.” pic.twitter.com/2SvNuwk41S
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) December 1, 2021
Doocy followed up by asking, “But what about people who don’t take a plane and just — these border crossers coming in in huge numbers in a sense?”
Fauci responded it did not.
“You know, but that’s a different issue. For example, when you talk — we still have Title 42, with regard to protection at the border,” he said.
Title 42 is a section of the Public Health and Safety Act invoked during the Trump Administration that empowers the federal government to deny entry to those seeking to come into the U.S. or remove those who have come into the country due to the current pandemic.
The Biden administration has continued the policy to a lesser extent, making exceptions for parents with children and unaccompanied minors, NPR reported.
“So there are protections at the border — that you don’t have the capability, as you know, of 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,” Fauci said.
He added there is limited “testing at the border under certain circumstances.”
During fiscal year 2021, there were a record 1.7 million.
According to the U.S. Border Patrol, in fiscal year 2020, when worldwide travel was greatly restricted, hundreds of people from African nations were apprehended at the southwest border. This includes: 189 from the Congo, 614 from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 55 from Eritrea, 102 from Ghana, and 4 from South Africa — among others.