Video Clip: APEX warns U.S. clock is ticking to end blockade of European travelers
In the August letter sent to U.S. President Joe Biden, APEX warns the Administration that time is running out to end its blockade of vaccinated international travelers from Europe, following an indication by the European Commission President to close doors to Americans.
PAX spoke with APEX/IFSA CEO Dr. Joe Leader in August for an update.
"What the European Commission is hinting at is very real," Leader says. "If the United States does not take the step to open its doors and stop banning vaccinated Europeans, I guarantee you that the European Union, European Commission, UK and others, will not keep the doors open forever. We are on a ticking clock. The Administration needs to open its doors to vaccinated Europeans now."
Refusing entry to vaccinated Europeans goes directly against Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance, Leader says. "It’s like saying, 'Well, vaccinated Americans are safe, but we’re not sure about vaccinated Europeans,'" he says. "That is against the science and that’s against what we want to see in the world."
APEX is working closely with CDC Director Rochelle Walensky and White House COVID-19 Coordinator Jeffrey Zients to move the needle on the issue.
Leader says the country needs to provide more consistent messaging that vaccinated people are not a harm to the United States. "If [travelers] are vaccinated, they're adding to our safety, they're adding to the United States and we should be opening our arms instead of giving a mixed message," he says. Leader says there is an important message to be shared with the world and President Biden.
"Mr. President, tear down this wall that is blocking safely vaccinated Europeans from coming to the United States. We must consistently take actions that speak to our values as a nation, that provide freedom and invite over the vaccinated individuals from Europe to set an example. To give positive light and tear down the wall that has blocked us since March of 2020," Leader says.