New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoBirx traveled over Thanksgiving weekend after warning Americans to limit celebrations to household NYC advances bill protecting fast food workers from being fired without valid reason On The Money: Sweeping COVID-19, spending deal hits speed bumps | Deal set to include smaller stimulus checks, jobless benefit support | Biden, Powell praise progress toward agreement MORE (D) said Sunday that flights from the U.K. should be banned in response to the emergence of a more infectious coronavirus strain in London and southern England.
In a statement Sunday, the governor blasted the Trump administration for not implementing such a shutdown, saying it failed to learn from the initial hit of the virus in the spring.
“The United States has a number of flights coming in from the UK each day and we have done absolutely nothing. To me, this is reprehensible because this is what happened in the spring,” Cuomo said in a statement Sunday.
“How many times in life do you have to make the same mistake before you learn? The federal government is being grossly negligent just like the spring, and every day they do nothing on this problem, they do something,” he added. “It’s high time the federal government takes swift action, because today that variant is getting on a plane and landing in JFK, and all it takes is one person.”
Cuomo noted several European nations have banned flights from the U.K. in light of the new strain, including Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and France.
Cuomo’s comments come as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the nation would not be able to relax restrictions on Christmas gatherings as initially planned.
“Given the early evidence we have on this new variant of the virus, and the potential risk it poses, it is with a heavy heart that I must tell you we cannot continue with Christmas as planned,” Johnson tweeted Sunday.
Italy’s health ministry, meanwhile, announced Sunday that the new strain had been detected in a patient who had recently returned from the U.K.
Vivek MurthyVivek MurthyPatient in Italy detected with strain of COVID-19 found in UK Nations ban UK flights in move to block new virus strain Sunday shows – COVID-19 relief, cyberattack dominate MORE, President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump signs bill extending government funding for 24 hours What is in the 0 billion coronavirus relief bill Congress to approve .375 billion for border wall in 2021 MORE’s nominee for surgeon general, told NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday that while the variant was more contagious, it does not appear to be any deadlier.
“While it seems to be more transmissible, we do not have evidence yet that this is a more deadly virus to an individual who acquires it,” siad Murthy, who served as surgeon general in the Obama administration.