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Fauci warns against 'overreacting' to new strain, advises against banning UK flights

Anthony FauciAnthony FauciJim Jordan, Val Demings get in shouting match about police during hearing Overnight Health Care: All adults in US now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine | White House launches media blitz to promote vaccines Suspect in custody in deadly Wisconsin tavern shooting MORE, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, said Monday that he would not recommend suspending flights from the United Kingdom over a more infectious coronavirus strain detected in southern England.

The U.S. should “without a doubt keep an eye on it,” but “we don’t want to overreact,” Fauci told CNN.

"Follow it carefully, but don't overreact to it," he added.

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Adm. Brett Giroir, the White House coronavirus testing czar, also told CNN that travel restrictions came up during a discussion late Sunday with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert RedfieldRobert RedfieldThe dangers of pausing the J&J vaccine Clyburn: Documents show Trump officials helped suppress coronavirus CDC reports CDC director walks tightrope on pandemic messaging MORE.

"I think we're waiting for CDC kind of recommendations. Last night, talking to Dr. RedfieldRobert RedfieldThe dangers of pausing the J&J vaccine Clyburn: Documents show Trump officials helped suppress coronavirus CDC reports CDC director walks tightrope on pandemic messaging MORE, there was not a recommendation for that. Again, every hour we get more information. I think, as we have done and we need to do, we need to listen to the best experts," Giroir said Monday morning.

Asked later if restrictions are on the table, Giroir replied: "I think everything is possible. We just need to put everything on the table, have an open scientific discussion and make a best recommendation.” 

Fauci’s and Giroir’s comments come as numerous European nations have announced restrictions on travel to and from the U.K. in light of the new strain. Other countries imposing restrictions or bans include Argentina, France, Canada, Ireland, Chile, Colombia, Hong Kong, Estonia, Poland, Norway, Turkey and Latvia.

New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoNew York AG asked to investigate if Cuomo used state resources on his book On The Money: Treasury creates hub to fight climate change | Manchin throws support behind union-backed PRO Act | Consumer bureau rolls out rule to bolster CDC eviction ban Cuomo: Congress must include SALT cap repeal in future legislation MORE (D) and New York Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioNew York opens vaccination site underneath blue whale in Natural History Museum What the statistics show about police shootings and public safety US cities beef up security ahead of Chauvin verdict MORE (D) have both called on the federal government to ban travel from the U.K. as well.

“Why don’t we act intelligently for a change?” Cuomo asked during a press briefing Monday, echoing an earlier statement from his office. “Why don’t we mandate testing before people get on the flight or halt the flights from the U.K. now? Many other countries have done this.”