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Republicans call on Biden to impose China travel ban as respiratory illness spikes

"In light of an unknown respiratory illness spreading throughout the People’s Republic of China (PRC), we call on you to immediately restrict travel between the United States and the PRC," they wrote.

Published: December 1, 2023 4:20pm

A group of five Senate Republicans on Friday asked President Joe Biden to impose a ban on travel to and from China as respiratory illnesses spike in the country. 

"In light of an unknown respiratory illness spreading throughout the People’s Republic of China (PRC), we call on you to immediately restrict travel between the United States and the PRC. As you know, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has a long history of lying about public health crises," the lawmakers, led by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, wrote to Biden.

Sens. J.D. Vance, Ohio; Tommy Tuberville, Ala.; Rick Scott, Fla.; and Mike Braun, Ind.; also signed on to the request.

"On January 31, 2020, President Trump issued an order to restrict travel from the PRC into the United States to protect the American people and counter the spread of COVID-19," they continued. "Many officials and commentators—including you—criticized his decision as being influenced by 'xenophobia.' But history and common sense show his decision was the right one."

"The PRC has reported an increase in this mystery illness—which it claims to be pneumonia caused by known pathogens—since mid-October. This illness reportedly is a special hazard for children and has overrun hospitals in the north of the country," they went on. "The World Health Organization (WHO) says it is unclear if the disease is due to an overall increase in respiratory infections or separate events. If history is any indication, we have cause to be concerned."

The COVID-19 pandemic is thought to have originated in Wuhan, China, though its origins remain the subject of dispute. Formerly regarded as a conspiracy theory, the notion that the pandemic began as the result of a lab leak at the Wuhan Institute of Virology has increasingly gained traction among government agencies.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter.

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