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Rubio, Colleagues to Biden: Ban Travel From China to Prevent Mystery Illness Spread

Dec 1, 2023 | Featured, Press Releases

A mysterious respiratory illness is once again spreading in China. Until we know more about what could be a new pathogen, the United States must do everything possible to prevent the illness from reaching our shores.

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and colleagues sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to restrict travel between the U.S. and China until we know more about this disease.

  • “[W]e should not wait for the WHO to take action given its track record of slavish deference to the [Chinese Communist Party]. We must take the necessary steps to protect the health of Americans, and our economy. That means we should immediately restrict travel between the United States and the [People’s Republic of China] until we know more about the dangers posed by this new illness. A ban on travel now could save our country from death, lockdowns, mandates, and further outbreaks later.”

Joining Rubio in his efforts were Senators J.D. Vance (R-OH), Rick Scott (R-FL), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), and Mike Braun (R-IN).

The full text of the letter is below. 

Dear Mr. President:

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. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the CCP’s obfuscation of the truth, and lack of transparency, robbed the United States of vital knowledge about the disease and its origin. 

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. 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.  

At this moment, the world faces another unknown pathogen emanating from the PRC that could spread to other countries, including the United States. 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. 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 WHO has requested that the CCP share “detailed information” about the mystery illness. However, CCP has an incentive to lie, just as they did throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and any new pathogen could derail its efforts to stimulate its economy. Besides, we should not wait for the WHO to take action given its track record of slavish deference to the CCP. We must take the necessary steps to protect the health of Americans, and our economy. That means we should immediately restrict travel between the United States and the PRC until we know more about the dangers posed by this new illness. A ban on travel now could save our country from death, lockdowns, mandates, and further outbreaks later.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.   

Sincerely,