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Biden restricts travel from South Africa and seven other countries starting Monday


CNN

By Kaitlan Collins, CNN

President Joe Biden announced Friday the US will restrict travel from South Africa and seven other countries starting Monday as a new coronavirus variant has emerged.

Acting on advice from the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Biden administration will restrict travel from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi.

Biden on Friday night signed the official proclamation restricting the travel of those “physically present” in the countries during the “14-day period preceding their entry, or attempted entry into the United States.”

The proclamation includes a list of those exempted from the new restrictions, including US citizens, lawful permanent residents and noncitizens who are the spouses of citizens or permanent residents.

It says it will remain in effect until terminated by the President and will not apply to any flights scheduled to arrive in the US that depart prior to 12:01 a.m. EST on Monday.

The decision to restrict travel comes as the federal government is still attempting to learn more about the new variant, named Omicron. They need to see more sequencing, but after discussing what they’ve seen so far, officials decided to halt travel from these other countries out of concern about what they don’t yet know.

Biden was briefed Friday on the new coronavirus variant circulating in southern Africa, he said in the announcement.

He told reporters later Friday of the decision: “I’ve decided we’re going to be cautious.”

“We don’t know a lot about the variant except that it is a big concern and seems to spread rapidly, and I spent about a half hour this morning with my Covid team led by Dr. Fauci, so that was the decision we made,” the President said.

Officials said the policy was implemented out of an abundance of caution given the World Health Organization has now identified this as a variant of concern.

“Our scientists and public health officials are working quickly to learn more about this variant,” one official said.

White House in contact with airlines

A senior Biden administration official said earlier Friday that several steps had to be taken before the restrictions begin on Monday, including the formal US proclamation, Transportation Security Administration directives and coordination with airlines.

“This is a quick timeline but there are things that need to be done beforehand,” the official said.

An airline source told CNN that airline executives and the White House were in touch Friday, prior to the announcement of new travel restrictions.

Another source familiar with the situation said there was a call Friday afternoon with the federal government and the airline industry. The federal government is working on drafting an official directive that will include guidelines for airlines that go into effect just after midnight Monday morning.

The trade group for major US airlines said it has “many unanswered questions” about the forthcoming restrictions. Airlines for America spokesman Carter Yang told CNN the group is communicating with the administration and believes that travel decisions must “be rooted in science.”

“We remain in communication with the US government as specifics remain unknown at this time and there are many unanswered questions,” Yang said. “Amid this rapidly evolving situation, it is critical that US government decisions regarding international travel restrictions and requirements be rooted in science.”

South Africa’s health minister announced Thursday the discovery of the variant, which appears to be spreading rapidly in parts of the country.

Buying time

The travel restrictions will buy the US federal government more time to investigate the new variant, officials say — but not much.

Inside the government, it is seen as inevitable that the new variant will appear in the US at some point, but the new restrictions should give federal health agencies and their global counterparts more time to learn about the variant, including the severity of the disease it causes. Officials do not believe, based on current thinking, that the variant is in the US yet.

Officials acted quickly to implement new restrictions. While the emergency of the variant had been flagged in the last several weeks, it was only in recent days that they learned how serious it was.

US officials are expected to speak to scientists in South Africa again, potentially on Sunday.

Currently, “there’s no indication” that the new variant is in the United States right now — and US scientists are working closely with colleagues in South Africa to learn more about the emerging variant, Fauci, Biden’s chief medical adviser and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN’s Brianna Keilar before the travel restrictions were announced Friday.

“Right now, we’re getting the material together with our South African colleagues to get a situation where you could actually directly test it. So, right now you’re talking about sort of like a red flag that this might be an issue — but we don’t know,” he said.

“You want to find out if in fact it does evade the vaccines that we’re doing,” Fauci said when asked about potential travel restrictions. “You’re prepared to do everything you need to do to protect the American public, but you want to make sure there’s a basis for doing that.”

Several other countries — including the United Kingdom — have banned flights from South Africa and surrounding African countries in response to the emergence of the variant.

The travel restrictions do not apply to American citizens and lawful permanent residents. As with all international travelers, they must still test negative prior to travel.

This story has been updated with additional developments Friday.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

CNN’s Allie Malloy, Jeff Zeleny, Gregory Wallace and Pete Muntean contributed to this report.

CNN

Comments

151 Comments

  1. Remember when Trump banned travel from China and the entire media apparatus called him a racist while televising Pelosi walking through the streets of Chinatown? Pepperidge Farm remembers.

      1. Politifact is a far left news organization. It’s hilarious you’d even share that being a reporter and all. What the person said is completely true! It was called a Muslim ban at the time. And people were screaming “racism”. And yes Pelosi was walking around China town telling people to come down! So as not to be racist against the Chinese. How many people did she kill from COVID? Biden is a racist president. If you don’t see what everyone else has, like you’re not black if you don’t vote for me and his recent negro comment, you’re beyond help. Typical media. Now put Trump in that scenario. You guys would report on it for weeks. Since it’s Biden, where just gonna ignore that. Media is so biased it’s disgusting.

              1. Why? Your actual comments speak volumes of your bias. I’d pay attention to any comments then stories you’ve written. And who are these “fact checkers”? They always leave out key information. The media is the enemy of the people. To Write an article about Biden without using the words “racist”’, “xenophobic” or “sexist”, for starters is false. Any article written about Trump included those words. Articles on Biden on the other hand mentions none of those. Biden can’t keep his hands and nose away from kids, he’s used the N word. He can‘t even complete a speech without sounding like he needs to be in a geriatric home. Why don’t the 90% of lefty media ever mention that? Follow the money. Look who owns most of the media. They are told how to report.

                1. Your premises are as false as always. We had 1,000s of stories about the former president that didn’t use such terms. So your argument falls flat on it face.
                  Overstating, over-generalizing… over.

            1. The left is a joke ! they have control of the house-senate- the big house- yet all they’ve done is muck it all up… what’s a local moderator to do- besides eat more crow !

                1. Why can’t I reply to your comment Barney? That’s missing. You don’t like the truth. I’ve tried to post a few other comments but they wouldn’t go through. Will this one? Don’t be scared of facts!

                2. If they don’t violate Terms of Service in my judgment (including personal offensive attacks) they are allowed. That should be obvious to anyone reading all the stuff allowed here.

        1. Politifact…Pulitzer Prize winning site run by editors and reporters from the Tampa Bay Times (Florida) newspaper. “PolitiFact is a fact-checking website that rates the accuracy of claims by elected officials and others who speak up in American politics….” of course you probably consider all sites not running far right wing stuff fake news.

      2. And you think politifact is a valid unbiased source?! 😂😂😂
        I distinctly remember the scathing comments about president Trump trying to restrict travel because of this.

          1. Why are you engaging in this Barney? You’re just showing people how liberal you are. I did not see a single article with you saying those very things when Trump tried to restrict travel. Come on man!

            1. You are 100% spot on- many of us have requested that Barney go quiet- all he does is censor and delete those requests… he really doesn’t get it ! ROTFLMAO !!!

              1. You attack me morning, noon and night – wrongly, unfairly, full of untruths – and expect me to “go quiet”? Then leave me alone, of course – but you can’t do that. You desperately need my attention, obviously.
                I’ll try harder to deny you what you crave. And delete when I have to.

                1. I’m not sure that you’ll be able to not counter BGHW comments. But we’ll see.

                2. Hang in there Barney, the uneducated need a target to try to stay relevant however far off the mark they are.

          2. Biden tells reporters: “The coronavirus does not have a political affiliation. It will infect Republicans, independents and Democrats alike, and will not discriminate based on national origin, race, gender or Zip code. It will touch people in positions of power, as well as the most vulnerable in our society. And it will not stop. Banning all travel from Europe or any other part of the world may slow it, but as we’ve seen, it will not stop it. And travel restrictions based on favoritism and politics rather than a risk will be counterproductive.”

      3. Fife,
        It wasn’t Biden and if you take the time and look Nakedandthedead didn’t refer to Biden. The corporate media and many of the malcontents and miscreants that make up the Democrat house and senate called Trump racist for instituting travel bans.
        Fife, if you were paying attention you’d know this.
        Biden is a racist and all the reprobates that voted for him are racist as well.

        1. “Fife” ??? As in “nip-it- nip-it-nip it in the bud” Fife ??? I doubt this Barney is paying any attention to the wishes of the local community who have asked that he step back and just do his moderation gig… this has become a regional problem.

      4. Barney Boy, the truth is never racist. Your fellow CNN and MSNBC media were labeling Trump’s comments as racist and xenophobic. Today we know Trump was speaking the truth and your fellow media was covering up for their Chinese masters.

        1. precisely. the fact the left can’t see is laughable, yes, but also quite sad. i feel sorry for them, but then again, they are so darn angry and trying to shove ideas down everyone’s throats so then there’s that….

            1. wow – we live in 2 universes. ever heard of ANTIFA? left. who’s been rioting for a year and a half? left. who shows up at peaceful trump rallies to cause violence? left. who says all republicans are racist? left.
              who’s afraid to speak or allow anyone to know their party or who they voted for out of fear? right.
              i have NEVER heard anyone on Fox disparage every liberal. NEVER.

              hate to say it but the country needs to split up. i want a divorce.

      5. “Trump further diminished the US in the eyes of the world by expanding his travel ban. This new “Africa Ban,” is designed to make it harder for black and brown people to immigrate to the United States. It’s a disgrace, and we cannot let him succeed.” Joe Biden, 2/1/2020.

        Some more reading for your Barney:

        https://justthenews.com/accountability/political-ethics/bidens-past-criticism-covid-travel-bans-boomerang-he-imposes-his

        Barney, you bring all this on yourself given what you post and how you try to defend it. Anyone that can read instantly sees your liberal bias. Shoot for objective moderator and call it the same for both sides and at least then you can defend yourself.

          1. Thanks for letting us all know Biden did not say what Biden said. I know this was his own tweet but COMEON MAN! Cornpop writes his tweets. “Trump further diminished the U.S. in the eyes of the world by expanding his travel ban. This new “African Ban,” is designed to make it harder for black and brown people to immigrate to the United States. It’s a disgrace, and we cannot let him succeed.”

              1. He said it 2/1/20. He is doing exactly what he accused trump of doing. Stop trying to make excuses for dementia joe. You are just embarrassing yourself and proving how dumb the plannedemocrats truly are.

              2. no one ever gave trump half a chance of context, timing, etc.
                so…..biden DOES NOT get a pass either. why should he?
                you all just thought biden gets elected, then it’s lollipops and unicorns?
                heck to the no!
                the right will blast him for every mis-step – there will be no patience and no excuses.
                the left has created a new standard for the president.

          2. You delete comments? What about when you covered the death of my daughter and left all the nasty comments? You didn’t delete anything. It makes people debate. You like that. The more clicks the better.

            1. Are you referring to Facebook or our moderated website? We always try to address such issues, FB is a huge challenge. We even delete posts there if it becomes uncontrollable.
              If family points us to nasty comments there of course we delete them, I cannot recall us ever not doing so.
              You have me at a disadvantage, how long ago was this? I’m very sorry. Please email me or the station – to leave such up is against our policy, of course!

          3. The article from just the news contains facts and features quotes from Biden. I hope you read it. I’m glad you are confident, but in denial is a better description. It’s OK to be bias, Barney.

                1. I stand by everyone of them, many in response to questions trying to draw me into the never-ending argument that changes no minds.
                  I’ll try to resist harder.

      6. not exactly – here’s what he said:

        “We are in the midst of a crisis with the coronavirus,” Biden wrote in a tweet during his presidential campaign last year following Trump imposed travel restrictions from China into the United States in an effort to control the spread of COVID-19. “We need to lead the way with science — not Donald Trump’s record of hysteria, xenophobia, and fear-mongering. He is the worst possible person to lead our country through a global health emergency.”

        he did indeed criticize trump over the travel restrictions.
        nice try on semantics with politifact – which is a left leaning site and incredibly biased.

      7. Biden tweet 2/1/20. “Trump further diminished the U.S. in the eyes of the world by expanding his travel ban. This new “African Ban,” is designed to make it harder for black and brown people to immigrate to the United States. It’s a disgrace, and we cannot let him succeed.”

        The left also probably forgot this tweet by Pelosi during the same time. “The Trump Admin’s expansion of its un-American travel ban is a threat to our security, our values and the rule of law. Barring more than 350 million people from predominantly African countries from traveling to the US, this rule is discrimination disguised as policy. ”“https://twitter.com/speakerpelosi/status/1223414098614018057?s=21

  2. Biden making the same mistake as previous administration. Hey, let’s wait and see if it’s really really bad. We should do the same as the British. No total ban, but do enforce a 10 day quarantine upon arrival in US enforced with tracking devices.

    1. Trump had every health agency the world over lie about covid from the start. Remember the democrats and Cnn talking heads telling us it was nothing to worry about? Remember the WHO lying about it? Remember the many lies of Fauci? Oh but Biden is here to save us with “racist and xenophobic” travel bans.

      1. trump didn’t have anyone lie about covid.
        i do know that diane feinstein and her husband sold all their stock while she was on the news saying this was nothing.
        she’s not the only congress person to have done that.
        the government knew.
        i got a call from an employee in China in early february begging the company to get her out of china saying it was horrible and the media worldwide were lying.
        if you want to blame someone – you just have to turn your eye to china.

  3. Another blatantly racist move by a Democratic White president that supported segregated schools and whose mentor was a prominent Democratic senator and KKK Leader!

      1. True, but those step in other countries were not taken by a man who supported school segregation and had a leader of the KKK as his Mentor. It is these 2 facts that creates the legitimate statement of being Biden being Blatantly Racist.

          1. Some people have leadership skills and don’t constantly rely on hindsight… President Trump was great at making decisions and sticking by them- Biden ??? A complete muck up !

          2. nope – the left showed us there is no forgiveness.
            once a racist, always a racist.

            heck trump was having locker talk how many years ago?? like was it 20? so, no, people do not evolve, advance and move forward.

      1. The answer my friend is Old Joe and the libel media are a closet racist. They judge other’s actions only through the lenses of race and not merit or truth.

    1. Not fully racist hump. Heck no problem coming into the country illegally untested while states like Oregon demand your kids are masked all day at school. Shoot, might even give those people $450,000 if they get separated when they illegally enter the country. But tax payers may lose their jobs if not vaxxed. I’n fact I think Biden likes illegal immigrants more than US citizens.

      1. clearly he does! and when he met with boris, he only allowed UK reporters to ask ONE question. boris seemed completely shocked.

        and with the india PM, he only let Indian press in the room and complimented their “good behavior” and disparaged the US media.

        can’t believe the media in the US is letting him get away with this – no questions, if he does take them it’s pre-determined “good” reporters hand selected, etc.
        the media should be outraged! isn’t it a threat to free press to have a president shut them down? so opposite of how trump was.

    1. What a predictable comment. Several other countries have taken the same steps, to limit the spread.
      When “our guy” does something, salute. When “their guy” does the same thing, it’s evil.
      Consistent, yet very sad.

      1. He is making a joke when the same was said by him and Kamala when Trump did the same. Total crap. I love how the media run cover for him to try and re characterize his past tweets. Everyone that listened knew he was referring to the travel bans and any other attempts at saying something different is a blatant lie.

                1. Well feel free to take the “credit” if/when we do. We might try a better system first. Something to promote civil dialogue and make the trolls disappear in downvotes. If not, you might get your “wish.”

            1. @Keyser Soze Agreed. Trumpists do not care one whit for facts, its all about narrative to them. A forum that allows them to spread their narrative while protecting them from the mockery and ridicule of others isnt doing anything other than providing them a platform.

                1. Love the line right below it, thanks for sharing!
                  “Tweet
                  See new Tweets
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                  Ned Ryun
                  @nedryun
                  MmmmHmmm.
                  4:26 AM · Nov 27, 2021·Twitter for iPhone
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                  NADNAR- Not A Democrat Not a Republican
                  @NADNAR_org
                  ·
                  4h
                  Replying to
                  @nedryun
                  and
                  @EWErickson
                  Were we aware of a particularly concerning variant originating in an African country at the time? Nope. Very different circumstances? Travel bans on very specific countries seem entirely sensible right now.”

              1. Not all opinions are equal. They arent special or worthy of respect or merit just because someone had one. An opinion that is based purely off ignorance that is going to not only endanger one’s self but endanger the lives of others isnt an opinion worth giving any merit or respect to.

                The hardline trump supporters on these boards love to give Barney grief and accuse him of having a “liberal bias”. I dont think they realize how much he does, in the name of his job as moderator, to keep them from being trolled into the dirt by other posters.

                1. Thank you. I believe they know, they just don’t care. Hate and blame does that. Nothing will change their minds about their worldview being the only right one. It’s scary and sad.
                  If they don’t want me commenting, all they have to do is stop questioning, attacking me, my organization, my profession. Do it in their own venue/forum. The most criticism we get on the Bend subreddit is for allowing the comments, what one, probably many, called a “toxic waste dump.” It’s a challenge.

          1. You quote officials-experts-and questionable facts as the CV19 continues to prove them and you wrong at every turn. Please go quiet and let those of us who know what we are talking about drive the conversation- you haven’t been right since day one !

              1. I don’t need a single reaction from you- you are free to go quiet an let this comment section play out like it was intended… my conclusions are all based on the OHA data- which I quote- you don’t. You are free to go away now.

                1. False conclusions, based on real data. I will not go away. I have to read your stuff, after all, and will either delete your dangerous untruths or present facts in response.
                  Don’t like it? Please go somewhere else. (You won’t, I know. You’re hooked.)
                  Good luck finding somewhere you can spread that stuff without similar repercussions.

                2. “False conclusions based on real data” ??? You mean like Oregon’s current deaths related to CV19 count that is officially announced at 5116- but doesn’t include ‘all” the 550 tech glitch missing data from last spring and summer ?

        1. You are correct- as this station did very little to provide anything but a CNN hateful version of events… now the story has come full circle- and the hypocrisy is hilarious !

  4. Hey haters …if Biden is racist ~ so are you.

    Btw ~ the EU banned travel already pre Biden’s decision). The decision is not about race. Regardless of what you think.

    And if you read multiple sources ~ the vaxx rate for affected countries in Africa is @ % 24. Extremely low and especially for impoverished countries.

    https://inews.co.uk/news/world/new-covid-variant-europe-blocks-flights-from-south-africa-as-countries-battle-latest-strain-1321041

  5. The horse is out of the barn – no point in adding insult to injury by enacting travel bans. Travel bans haven’t been shown to do anything so far as I know. What the rest of the world will learn is that if they find a new variant of concern, don’t say anything.

    1. That’s what it comes down too isn’t it. If you have to keep getting a shot every 3-6 months its no longer a vaccine it becomes a therapy. Both Political parties want so much to be the winner, they don’t care about the people any more.

            1. No need to argue- my comment is 100% factual… these vaccines are not immunization shots- so go ahead and say it. Your issue now- what to do about the new variant- as these vaccines appear to have just become irrelevant !

              1. Fact: The vaccines are still helping people avoid severe illness or worse. You’ve never disproved it, and cannot. We all hope and pray this new variant doesn’t cause new crises – you too, of course – but I’m sure reputable scientists will do their most to combat it, despite the unfair flak flung their way.

                1. Under Biden’s heavy hand- the vaccine roll-out- efficacy- and messaging have all been a complete muck-up. My comments have been spot on since day one- the vaccines are not immunization shots- they wear off in months- they have no long term studies completed which make them “risky”- This new variant will make everything to date- a moot point… Without Trump’s leadership- expect the worst to come.

            1. just to be clear – i get my flu shot every year and am fully vaxxed, but in need of a booster. i am pro-vaxx and always have been.
              when i went through IVF, they validated my vaccine history and apparently my mom was anti-vaxx. i got 12 vaccines in one sitting – didn’t have any side effects.
              i had some moderna side effects, but not bad.
              i had COVID in Nov 2020 and it was awful. no hospital, but i would not want anyone to get it.
              BUT – the mandates are unconstitutional, something Biden said he would never do, and leading us down a very scary path of authoritarian rule.
              with the flu – as we all likely know – the strains every year morph and the vax might not have the right one. it’s best to take it nontheless.
              my husband will not get the flu shot, but was first in line for COVID – go figure.

  6. Ktvz is a source for local news. But the independent news outlets on YouTube are the closest I’ve seen for unbiased, informative, nonpartisan reporting. For now even though Google owns YouTube these independents have avoided the intimidation of the corporations that control the majority of media outlets. So far the only way YouTube can attempt to suppress these reporters is to demonetize them, take away their ad revenue. But the genies out of the bottle, they really can’t shut them down completely because of the # of viewers and subscribers. It’s a wonderful thing to have such a thoughtful source of news.

  7. there is plenty of evidence that Biden called out trump on all of his travel bans, regardless of context. However, its borderline journalistic malpractice to cherry pick which articles to publish, unless the Moderator is posting opinion not just blocking/allowing posts based on terms of service.

    this WashingtonPost piece does a good job of showing the colonizing mindset of both Racist Political Parties.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/01/28/biden-xenophobia-travel-bans-chronology/

  8. Barney. I am really , really saddened by all the defensive nonsense of Bidens travel ban because “others” are doing it while continuing to trash Trump’s travel ban all the while making no sense other than doing whatever it takes to stay employed at a liberal ran employer. You once we’re were fair and balanced. I sat by you while you covered my friends father’s trial of which she was the victims of her family’s molestations 20 years ago. I wonder now what would have have been covered if you would have know the family’s political affiliation. I’m ashamed and saddened by your ridiculous defense of Bidens travel ban vs Trumps. It’s pathetic.

    1. I’ve done absolutely nothing but present facts and links to fact-checked information that folks have not refuted, just fired upon the messenger. We don’t write the CNN content, but if you find any actual errors (“Lies”) I’d be glad to pass them along for a correction.
      I am the same person – we cover the news the same way, to the best of our ability. It’s the toxic social media environment that has gone into dangerous uncharted territory of blame, hate and spin, as many feared for decades.
      I meet people all the time who support us and agree on that point.

      1. “the same person” ??? Who allowed four years of Presidential bashing- false accusations and blatant lies… but now can’t stand the fact that Biden has completely mucked up the CV19 response to the point of more Oregonians dying in 9 months under his failed leadership than under 11 months of Trump ??? I don’t buy it- and neither do soooo many who comment here !

          1. BS! the anti-trump articles sat on your site for days/weeks. anything anti-trump was up until it stank! IF there is an article critical of biden – it’s up for a hot minute.

            1. The national articles are on our site no longer or shorter now than a year, 2 years, 3 years ago. If there are any changes, it’s been technical in nature, despite the false ulterior motives always flung media’s way that prove absolutely nothing, as usual.

      2. i also read your facebook page. you likely do not.
        the facebook page is much like this board – many times much worse.
        you do not have the support you think you do.
        accusations of bias, liberalism, etc. are all over KTVZ. if you don’t see it – you are blind or perhaps just dishonest.

        1. Yes Facebook becomes a toxic snakepit.
          Proves nothing. We have many supporters – they stay away so as not to be dragged into the toxic mud.
          All media are under attack now, often with false claims. It’s scary and sad.

  9. Perhaps I’m missing something here…in any event world-wide, the sun is still coming up.

    “The House on Wednesday voted to repeal the Trump administration’s travel ban and further restrict the president’s power to limit entry to the U.S., a symbolic victory for Muslim American and civil rights groups.”

    https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/watch-house-approves-repeal-of-trump-travel-ban-decried-as-anti-muslim

    “The White House press office said Trump’s claim is supported by a tweet Biden posted Feb. 1, the day after the Trump administration announced travel restrictions on people who were in China 14 days prior to their attempted entry into the United States.

    “Biden tweeted: “We are in the midst of a crisis with the coronavirus. We need to lead the way with science — not Donald Trump’s record of hysteria, xenophobia, and fear-mongering. He is the worst possible person to lead our country through a global health emergency.”

    “But Biden did not explicitly tie xenophobia to the travel restriction.”

    https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/mar/27/donald-trump/fact-checking-whether-biden-called-trump-xenophobi/

    1. Biden tweet 2/1/20. “ Trump further diminished the U.S. in the eyes of the world by expanding his travel ban. This new “African Ban,” is designed to make it harder for black and brown people to immigrate to the United States. It’s a disgrace, and we cannot let him succeed.”

      So using Biden’s own words, isn’t he essentially treating people of color differently? Where is the outrage from the left??

  10. Yes it is a toxic social media environment. I’m regret and am ashamed to have got so caught up in the above thread. I appreciate you and the station and apologize for my hurtful unnecessary comments. I am unable to delete them but would not be bothered the least if you did.

    1. Thank you very much. It is very hard to resist responding to direct attacks that are untrue, and I hate deleting comments, but do what I must. Many want this system to go away – not to squelch free speech but to stop the obvious abuse of such rights, which are based on govt. actions not private enterprise, which can have Terms of Service and enforce them how they wish.

  11. Don’t shut down the comment section! This is my morning entertainment while on the throne. Grown men calling each other names everyday. Total hypocrisy on display. It’s quite entertaining. Troll boards are a test of free speech.

    1. Have a little sympathy for the guy who has to read it all, would you? It is not meant to be entertainment OR informative, just… free speech that is tested severely by those who believe only their side has any good or truth;-/

  12. Barney I do have sympathy for you. I would have banned half the people already and quit if I had your job. You moderate hate. But it is quite entertaining none the less. If I were you I would just remove myself from comments but that is probably pretty difficult as they attack you daily. But it seems the more you comment the more they attack. May as well step back and let them eat each other.

    1. There is no “ban” in the rudimentary WP Comments. There is “delete user,” and all the nasty comments would be deleted from the database, so as being unable to prove with their own words just what the attackers and haters have been saying. So until/unless we go to a more expanded system, it is where it is. Besides they don’t “eat each other,” they feed off each other and it doesn’t go away/

    1. he’s such a victim here.
      agree with you – he should not comment.
      this site is for the people, not his biased views and useless fact checking.
      i try to have a heart and empathy for him, but…..

      1. This is a privately operated site with Terms of Service. We will try very hard to not let people post dangerous misinformation or dangerous claimed “facts” that are are not. The fact-checking is very useful, despite typical “shoot the messenger” efforts. State your own beliefs until the cows come home, if they don’t violate TOS they stand.

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