Governor Andrew Cuomo is sounding the alarm that the United States, via New York airports, could soon be grappling with the new variant of COVID-19 present in southern England believed to be 70% more infectious.
Highlighting the unfettered travel from the United Kingdom to New York, unlike other countries who have restricted airfare from Britain, Cuomo said Americans in the northeast are as vulnerable to this variant as they were leading up to the initial COVID-19 outbreak in March.
“Right now, this variant in the UK is getting on a plane and flying to JFK right now today,” Cuomo said.
According to Cuomo, the federal government needs to take begin requiring tests for travelers or bans on visitors traveling through the UK as the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has little authority in this regard.
Up to 120 countries have imposed the requirement for a negative test before leaving the UK, leaving the governor vexed as to why the Centers for Disease Control and other American agencies have issued no such action.
Six flights per day go through New York airports, according to Cuomo.
“Why at a minimum, you wouldn’t require a task, like the 120 other countries, or why you wouldn’t consider a ban monkey of the European countries, but doing nothing is negligent is grossly negligent, just like the spray, because doing nothing is doing something every day. The federal government does nothing on this problem,” Cuomo said. “By the way, a lot of states early on in the spring reporting a lot more deaths from pneumonia. You know what? It wasn’t pneumonia.”
According to state Commissioner of Health Howard Zucker, tests currently in common use will detect the new variant and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been informed that the Pfizer vaccine will possibly still be effective against it.
After the British government imposed a Tier 4 lockdown in London and southern England in general, train stations in the effected areas found themselves overwhelmed with travelers hoping to make their way out of the city on Sunday, the multiple outlets were reporting.