Jen Psaki, the White House Press Secretary, was asked on Thursday how the U.S. is justifying its ban on travel from South Africa despite the fact samples of Omicron were found in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands before South Africa.
Psaki said the White House is continuing to assess the policy on a daily basis.
“The President is meeting with his COVID team every single day, including this morning, to assess what additional steps should be taken to protect the American people,” Psaki said. “And he will always err on the side of protecting the American people.”
Psaki added the decision to put travel restrictions in place on a set of countries was made based on the recommendation of the White House’s health and medical team.
“And based on the fact that there were hundreds if not thousands of cases that we were seeing in South Africa,” Psaki said. “And concern about neighboring countries. So that was the decision that was made at the time. No one wants that to be permanent.”