"If history is any indication, we have cause to be concerned." This is how Senators Rick Scott, Tommy Tuberville, Mike Braun, JD Vance and Marco Rubio warned President Biden about the increase in pneumonia cases in China. In a letter sent on Friday, they asked him to "immediately restrict travel between the United States and the PRC."
They are concerned because the disease seems to mainly affect children. They also painted out the lack of data and recalled how Chinese secrecy helped spread COVID-19: "The CCP’s (Chinese Communist Party's) obfuscation of the truth, and lack of transparency, robbed the United States of vital knowledge about the disease and its origin." The communist government doesn't seem concerned about the current increase in citizens affected by a respiratory illness and denies that there is a new virus. Instead, it attributes the increase to the flu and other known pathogens.
They also reminded Biden that when the pandemic began, he opposed a travel ban imposed by Donald Trump. In their opinion, that measure was the appropriate one: "History and common sense show his decision was the right one."
They also mentioned the World Health Organization (WHO). The multinational organization acknowledged that it did not know the origin of the current outbreak and asked the Chinese government to provide it with more information. According to the senators, that should not be enough consolation for the Biden administration:
However, CCP has an incentive to lie, just as they did throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and any new pathogen could derail its efforts to stimulate its economy. Besides, we should not wait for the WHO to take action given its track record of slavish deference to the CCP. We must take the necessary steps to protect the health of Americans, and our economy.
The Republican politicians concluded the letter by saying, "A ban on travel now could save our country from death, lockdowns, mandates, and further outbreaks later."
The order comes as concern grows outside of China. This week alone, the Netherlands Health Services Research Institute warned about the increase in the disease, while Washington DC experienced an increase in hospital visits from patients with similar symptoms.