Tag: Biden

Joe Biden Has Promised to End Trump’s Muslim and African ‘Travel Ban’. But Its Legacy Will Be Felt for Years

Afnan Salem’s father, a Somali citizen living in Malaysia, has been waiting three years for United States immigration authorities to allow him to come to Ohio to live with his family. But Trump’s severe travel restrictions on many visas for those with citizenship from more than a dozen predominantly African and Muslim-majority countries, including Somalia, means he is, at least temporarily, barred from entry.



a group of people posing for the camera: Demonstrators protest President Donald Trump's executive immigration ban at O'Hare International Airport on January 29, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois.


© Joshua Lott—AFP via Getty Images
Demonstrators protest President Donald Trump’s executive immigration ban at O’Hare International Airport on January 29, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois.

Under previous Administrations, Salem’s father would likely have been able to come to the U.S. without complications: Salem’s brother is a U.S. citizen and has filed for a visa on their father’s behalf. Trump’s travel ban—often referred to as the Muslim and African ban—changed that calculus, making it much more difficult, and often impossible, for family members from certain predominately Muslim and African countries to gain entry to the U.S.

Salem, a Somali-American 22-year-old student at Ohio State University, says the stringent restrictions send a message to her and those like her that Africans and Muslims are not welcome in the U.S, that “you don’t have the right to be reunited with your family because of your faith or where you come from.”

President-elect Joe Biden, who is expected to be inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2021, has promised to revoke the Trump-era travel ban on his first day in office—a commitment that families like Salem’s are desperately hoping he follows through on.

Read more: Biden Has Promised to Undo Trump’s Immigration Policies. How Much Is He Really Likely to Reform?

Even before President Donald Trump issued his first executive order attempting to establish a ban just about a week after his inauguration, he had called on the campaign trail for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” and falsely declared that “Islam hates us.” It was in this context that Trump began issuing executive orders to keep many Muslims from entering the U.S. (The first was introduced January 2017.) The first few early iterations of a travel ban were struck down by lower courts, but the Supreme Court upheld a recent version in 2018.

The impact of the travel restrictions has been far-reaching. Between Oct. 1, 2015 and Sept. 30, 2019 there was a decrease of 79% in visa issued to Iranians, 74% for Somalians and 66% for Yemenis, according to The Bridge Initiative, a research project based in Georgetown University that focuses on Islamophobia. In Jan. 2019, the libertarian Cato Institute reported that the new restrictions had already prevented more than 15,000 spouses and adopted children of U.S. citizens from joining their spouses or parents in the U.S. In Michigan, a Yemeni-American father and U.S. citizen Mahmood Salem committed suicide after his wife and two of his five children in Djibouti were denied visas under Trump’s travel ban to join him in the U.S., NBC reported.

“Each time the Muslim ban was reintroduced, it carried

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After the Pandemic’s Travel Collapse, Biden Should Build Tourism Back Better

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s ambitious goals include strengthening the country’s middle class, making the environment a top priority across the government, and building the economy back better after so many livelihoods have been shattered by the coronavirus pandemic.

A revitalized national tourism policy could be a big part of the solution for all three issues. To get an idea how that could work, take a look at Key West, an island off the southern tip of Florida.

On Nov. 3, when the world’s eyes were fixed on the U.S. presidential election, the voters of Key West passed three landmark measures to dramatically reduce cruise ship traffic docking in their small, historic town. A citizen-led movement successfully argued that years of unregulated big-cruise tourism had taken too great a toll on the environment, public health, local businesses, and the town’s very way of life. By margins as large as 81 percent, the island city voted to reduce the number of ships allowed to dock, ban the largest cruise ships outright, and require clean environmental records of the smaller vessels that will still be allowed to visit the island. Voters were opting for an end to frenzied crowds and polluted water, and in favor of something closer to sustainable or ecotourism. Both the locals and their visitors will be better off this way.

But this vote was about far more than one town’s battle against cruise ships. It’s part of a backlash following many years of government neglect during a phase of relentless growth of tourism. It’s become a truism that modern overtourism has not only overrun, disfigured, and polluted places such as Key West, Barcelona, and Venice, but also spoiled destinations and ruined vacations for many travelers as well.

In the era before the pandemic, the $8 trillion global tourism industry was celebrated for underpinning economies around the world, including that of the United States, where the money spent by foreign visitors accounts for 11 percent of export earnings. (Because the money technically comes in from abroad, spending by visitors is booked as exports.) Those numbers mask the furor at the unacknowledged damage tourism was doing to local life, the environment, and visitors’ ability to appreciate the places they were visiting.

It took the pandemic to bring the issue to a head. The tsunami-like spread of the coronavirus brought the global travel industry to an abrupt halt. The world went from too much tourism to no tourism at all. Lockdowns meant that no one moved, neither across international borders nor even across town. Overnight, we all discovered the contradictory powers of the travel and tourism industry.

In real time, Americans saw how travel and tourism is the $1.6-trillion glue holding much of the U.S. economy together. Yet they also saw how it is a formidable environmental threat that pollutes their air and water and contributes to the climate crisis.

Without tourism, seemingly solid industries such as airlines, hotels, restaurants, and department stores tanked—the list is almost endless. Every U.S. state suffered,

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VIRUS TODAY: Americans travel as Biden addresses nation

Here’s what’s happening Wednesday with the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S.:

– Millions of Americans are traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday despite warnings from health officials that family gatherings could make a bad situation worse.

– More people are applying for unemployment benefits as the economy remains burdened by the coronavirus. About 778,000 people applied for unemployment last week, the second straight week the number has risen.

– Authorities are desperately pleading with people to stay home for the holidays and dramatically increasing fines for businesses that break the rules. In Connecticut, Gov. Ned Lamont says he will fine businesses $10,000 for violating virus restrictions.

THE NUMBERS: COVID-19 deaths have been shooting up all week. The average number per day is now over 1,600. The country is averaging 174,000 new cases of the virus per day.

QUOTABLE: “I don’t want to be South Dakota.” – West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice in saying he would not follow the lead of other Republican governors who resist mask mandates. He cited the grim statistics in South Dakota and the governor’s refusal to require masks.

ICYMI: The virus has scuttled a long-standing holiday tradition in the tiny Kansas town of Norcatur. In a decades-old tradition that evokes Norman Rockwell nostalgia, the whole town gathers for a potluck dinner at Christmastime and conducts a prize drawing for a plethora of donated meats, crafts and goodies. This year, it’s off.

ON THE HORIZON: President-elect Joe Biden is ramping up his response to the pandemic. He i s delivering a national Thanksgiving address in an attempt to unify the country in the face of the resurgent virus, and congressional leaders are waiting for his strategy for fighting the pandemic.

___

Find AP’s full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic

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VIRUS TODAY: Americans travel as Biden addresses nation | Nation



Americans risk traveling over Thanksgiving despite warnings

Holiday travelers crowd the ticketing area of terminal one Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020 at MSP in Minneapolis. Millions of Americans took to the skies and the highways ahead of Thanksgiving at the risk of pouring gasoline on the coronavirus fire, disregarding increasingly dire warnings that they stay home and limit their holiday gatherings to members of their own household.




Here’s what’s happening Wednesday with the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S.:

— Millions of Americans are traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday despite warnings from health officials that family gatherings could make a bad situation worse.

— More people are applying for unemployment benefits as the economy remains burdened by the coronavirus. About 778,000 people applied for unemployment last week, the second straight week the number has risen.

— Authorities are desperately pleading with people to stay home for the holidays and dramatically increasing fines for businesses that break the rules. In Connecticut, Gov. Ned Lamont says he will fine businesses $10,000 for violating virus restrictions.

THE NUMBERS: COVID-19 deaths have been shooting up all week. The average number per day is now over 1,600. The country is averaging 174,000 new cases of the virus per day.

QUOTABLE: “I don’t want to be South Dakota.” — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice in saying he would not follow the lead of other Republican governors who resist mask mandates. He cited the grim statistics in South Dakota and the governor’s refusal to require masks.

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Americans travel as Biden addresses nation

Here’s what’s happening Wednesday with the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S.:



Holiday travelers crowd the ticketing area of terminal one Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020 at MSP in Minneapolis. Millions of Americans took to the skies and the highways ahead of Thanksgiving at the risk of pouring gasoline on the coronavirus fire, disregarding increasingly dire warnings that they stay home and limit their holiday gatherings to members of their own household. (David Joles/Star Tribune via AP)


© Provided by Associated Press
Holiday travelers crowd the ticketing area of terminal one Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020 at MSP in Minneapolis. Millions of Americans took to the skies and the highways ahead of Thanksgiving at the risk of pouring gasoline on the coronavirus fire, disregarding increasingly dire warnings that they stay home and limit their holiday gatherings to members of their own household. (David Joles/Star Tribune via AP)

— Millions of Americans are traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday despite warnings from health officials that family gatherings could make a bad situation worse.

— More people are applying for unemployment benefits as the economy remains burdened by the coronavirus. About 778,000 people applied for unemployment last week, the second straight week the number has risen.

— Authorities are desperately pleading with people to stay home for the holidays and dramatically increasing fines for businesses that break the rules. In Connecticut, Gov. Ned Lamont says he will fine businesses $10,000 for violating virus restrictions.

THE NUMBERS: COVID-19 deaths have been shooting up all week. The average number per day is now over 1,600. The country is averaging 174,000 new cases of the virus per day.

QUOTABLE: “I don’t want to be South Dakota.” — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice in saying he would not follow the lead of other Republican governors who resist mask mandates. He cited the grim statistics in South Dakota and the governor’s refusal to require masks.

ICYMI: The virus has scuttled a long-standing holiday tradition in the tiny Kansas town of Norcatur. In a decades-old tradition that evokes Norman Rockwell nostalgia, the whole town gathers for a potluck dinner at Christmastime and conducts a prize drawing for a plethora of donated meats, crafts and goodies. This year, it’s off.

ON THE HORIZON: President-elect Joe Biden is ramping up his response to the pandemic. He i s delivering a national Thanksgiving address in an attempt to unify the country in the face of the resurgent virus, and congressional leaders are waiting for his strategy for fighting the pandemic.

___

Find AP’s full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic

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VIRUS TODAY: Americans travel as Biden addresses nation | National News



VIRUS TODAY: Americans travel as Biden addresses nation

Holiday travelers crowd the ticketing area of terminal one Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020 at MSP in Minneapolis. Millions of Americans took to the skies and the highways ahead of Thanksgiving at the risk of pouring gasoline on the coronavirus fire, disregarding increasingly dire warnings that they stay home and limit their holiday gatherings to members of their own household.




Here’s what’s happening Wednesday with the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S.:

— Millions of Americans are traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday despite warnings from health officials that family gatherings could make a bad situation worse.

— More people are applying for unemployment benefits as the economy remains burdened by the coronavirus. About 778,000 people applied for unemployment last week, the second straight week the number has risen.

— Authorities are desperately pleading with people to stay home for the holidays and dramatically increasing fines for businesses that break the rules. In Connecticut, Gov. Ned Lamont says he will fine businesses $10,000 for violating virus restrictions.

THE NUMBERS: COVID-19 deaths have been shooting up all week. The average number per day is now over 1,600. The country is averaging 174,000 new cases of the virus per day.

QUOTABLE: “I don’t want to be South Dakota.” — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice in saying he would not follow the lead of other Republican governors who resist mask mandates. He cited the grim statistics in South Dakota and the governor’s refusal to require masks.

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Biden aide says no U.S.-wide COVID lockdown planned as West Coast states advise against travel

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President-elect Joe Biden’s top coronavirus adviser said on Friday there were no plans for a wholesale nationwide lockdown to curb the surging coronavirus as three U.S. West Coast states jointly called for a halt in non-essential travel.

The joint advisory from California, Oregon and Washington urging residents to avoid venturing out of state came as health experts voiced concerns that the coming holiday travel season would accelerate already alarming spikes in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown took the additional step of ordering social gatherings limited to no more than six people, effective immediately, a restriction she said she was prepared to enforce.

“I am not asking you, I am telling you, to stop your social gatherings … and your house parties and to limit your social interactions to six and under, not more than one household,” Brown said.

The increasingly dire situation has prompted a growing list of state and local governments to re-impose restrictions they eased during a summertime ebb in COVID-19 outbreaks.

The governors of six states in the Northeast, the region hit hardest in the early months of the pandemic, plan an emergency meeting this weekend to coordinate responses, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

The country’s patchwork of measures will likely remain intact after Biden is inaugurated on Jan. 20 following his election defeat of Republican President Donald Trump, the head of the Democrat’s coronavirus advisory board said.

“We’re not in a place where we’re saying shut the whole country down,” Dr. Vivek Murthy, a former U.S. surgeon general, told ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

“Right now the way we should be thinking about this is more like a series of restrictions that we dial up or down depending on how bad a spread is taking place in a specific region,” he said.

Murthy’s comments were a sharp rebuttal to Trump’s repeated campaign assertions that Biden was intent on locking down the country if he were elected president.

Medical experts point to increased indoor gatherings with the onset of winter, along with lapses in social distancing and mask-wearing habits, as the main factors stoking an ominous nationwide surge in coronavirus transmissions and the rate of COVID-19 tests coming back positive.

The mounting caseload is starting to strain the resources of some hospitals and is on track to push many to the brink, they warn.

“I’m 100% worried about the holidays,” Dr. Khalilah Gates, a pulmonary specialist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, told Reuters on Friday. “We don’t have an endless ability to surge.”

TROUBLING BENCHMARKS

Announcing the West Coast travel advisory, California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said a strict mandate was ruled out over concerns that “COVID fatigue” might spark a backlash, leading people to behave in ways that are less safe.

The advisory urges individuals entering or returning to the three states to self-quarantine for 14 days, the presumed incubation period for the virus.

On Thursday, California became only the

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What Does A Biden Presidency Mean For Travel?

The global pandemic has canceled or delayed most travel plans for 2020. Now that we’re in the waning weeks of the current calendar year, all eyes are looking to 2021. Specifically, many are wondering how a Biden presidency will impact their travel plans and the travel industry.

Stricter Travel Protocols?

Many are watching what Biden’s coronavirus task force comes up with as we enter the cold winter months. Inauguration Day is January 20, 2021, and we can expect several stricter measures to help contain infection rates.

Will There Be A Nationwide Travel Ban?

To a certain extent, disease experts believe infection rates can increase during the colder months. As the Biden administration will move into the White House in January, he will have to address above-average infection rates due to the cooler weather and the lack of preventative measures from the Trump administration.

One recommendation on the table is a national lockdown for at least 4-6 weeks. If a lockdown happens, no unessential travel will occur until the warmer spring weather arrives. The timing can be similar to when most states shut down in early 2020 at the pandemic’s onset.

High infection rates cause states and local cities to discourage non-essential travel. Several states also have mandatory quarantine or require a negative PCR test to waive the self-isolation period.

While it might feel like ancient history with everything going on this year, Europe is not allowing direct entry from the United States. The leading reason is that the United States has an excessive infection rate.

As a result, Americans have few international travel options until the threat of coronavirus dissipates.

Will There Be A National Mask Mandate?

President-elect Biden is advocating for a nationwide mask mandate. As federal law doesn’t give the president the ability to enact a national mandate, Biden states he will work with state leadership.

Approximately 34 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico currently have a mandatory mask mandate to reduce the potential spread. Even in states without mask mandates, many public attractions require wearing masks, such as theme parks and museums.

As more people wear masks, we might see increasing confidence for people to travel.

Will The U.S. Have A Contact Tracing App?

Another virus control strategy is emphasizing contract tracing. We might see a national contact tracing app. While most U.S. citizens can’t travel to Canada, Canada requires all incoming travelers to download the ArriveCAN app.

Contract tracing apps can include this information:

  • Your travel and contact information
  • Quarantine plan
  • Uploaded PCR test results
  • COVID-19 symptom self-assessment

Several states already have a contact tracing app that you can download

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Biden Covid Advisor Floats Nationwide Shutdown For 4 To 6 Weeks

You may not want to lock in any travel plans for early 2021.

In an interview yesterday with Yahoo Finance, a key advisor on President-elect Biden’s Covid-19 taskforce floated the idea of a national lockdown for four to six weeks to control the pandemic.

“This is the virus versus us,” said Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. “We are entering this period that I call Covid hell.”

We continue to set records for new Covid-19 cases. Yesterday the United States recorded over 144,000 new positive cases, according to tracking data from Johns Hopkins University.

This current surge will be bigger, longer and deadlier than the first two, and is not expected to peak until mid-January, according to the often-cited model from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington School of Medicine. By February 1, 2021, the illness will have claimed nearly 400,000 American lives.

When Joe Biden takes office in late January, said Osterholm, the country might need a nationwide circuit breaker to disrupt the spread of the virus. He said it’s possible to control the pandemic in a way that helps the economy instead of hurting it, by coupling a stimulus package with a lockdown.

“We could pay for a package right now to cover all of the wages, lost wages for individual workers, for losses to small companies, to medium-sized companies or city, state, county governments. We could do all of that,” said Osterholm.

“If we did that, then we could lock down for four to six weeks. We could drive the numbers down like they’ve done in Asia, like they did in New Zealand and Australia,” he continued. “And then we could really watch ourselves cruising into vaccine availability in the first or second quarter of next year, and bringing back the economy long before that.”

President-elect Biden appointed Osterholm to his 12-member Covid advisory board on Monday. The panel is co-chaired by former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, former FDA Commissioner David Kessler and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith of Yale University. Other key advisors include Dr. Rick Bright, the Trump administration vaccine expert turned whistleblower, and Dr. Atul Gawande, a professor of surgery and health policy at Harvard.

In the near term, public health experts and a growing number of state governors are raising red flags that the upcoming Thanksgiving travel weekend is shaping up to be a superspreader event.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance for Thanksgiving deems “attending large indoor gatherings with people from outside of your household” to be high risk. “Travel increases the chance of getting and spreading the virus that causes Covid-19,” according to the CDC. “Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others.”

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Pompeo hasn’t recognized Biden as president-elect but is about to travel to 7 countries that have



a man wearing a suit and tie: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo removes his protective mask during a bilateral meeting with Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena in Colombo, Sri Lanka October 28, 2020. Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters


© Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo removes his protective mask during a bilateral meeting with Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena in Colombo, Sri Lanka October 28, 2020. Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters

  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is set to leave Friday for a 10-day trip to seven countries: France, Turkey, Georgia, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. 
  • Pompeo has followed President Donald Trump’s example and has not recognized President-elect Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 election. 
  • But the leaders in all of the seven countries Pompeo is poised to visit have congratulated Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on their victory in the 2020 election.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is departing Friday on a 10-day journey that will take him to seven different countries. 

Pompeo has not recognized President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris as the winners of the 2020 election as President Donald Trump continues to reject the results and push baseless allegations.

Video: Biden’s team is ‘divided’ on Iran policy: Atlantic Council (CNBC)

The leaders in all of the countries Pompeo is poised to visit have congratulated Biden on his victory in the 2020 election, highlighting the awkward, isolated position the Trump administration is currently in with the president refusing to concede. 

Though the president and top Republicans have refused to accept the results of the 2020 election, the world has already begun to move on from the Trump era.

  • Pompeo on Friday is heading off to France, Turkey, Georgia, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. He will be traveling from November 13 to November 23.
  • “The Americans have chosen their President,” French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted on Saturday. “Congratulations Joe Biden and Kamala Harris! We have a lot to do to overcome today’s challenges. Let’s work together!”
  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan extended his congratulations on Tuesday to the
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