January 29, 2022

White House press conference interrupted over ‘racist’ African travel restrictions

A reporter interrupted a White House daily briefing on Thursday when asking press secretary Jen Psaki about “racist” travel restrictions from African nations over the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

The Biden administration imposed travel restrictions on South Africa and neighboring countries on Nov. 29 after reports of the spreading Omicron variant were reported.

“Today News Africa reporter Simon Ateba said that South Africa only accounts for 6% of the Omicron variant cases, but that nearly 70 countries have solely imposed restrictions on African countries. He challenged Psaki on the U.S. imposing restrictions on only eight African countries, rather than on all 57 countries that have confirmed cases of the variant,” the Daily Caller reported.

The restrictions could have a strong economic impact on Africa, but the reporter suggested the restrictions were racist as they targeted African nations.

โ€œWhat would you say to those who believe that this is a racist ban, that it is only on African and black African nations?โ€ the reporter asked.

Psaki responded racism was not the intention, but was based instead on health expert recommendations.

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