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American Opinion: As infections spike, Europeans are set to block US travelers again

American Opinion: This means traveling Americans will almost certainly face a mish-mash of different restrictions in different European countries as the continent tries to figure out how to handle a superpower that can’t handle the coronavirus. Though many supporters of former President Donald Trump reject the vaccines that (to his credit) he delivered, they still like to claim the “Make America Great Again” mantra. In fact, they’re making America humiliated.

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Americans are facing renewed travel bans to Europe because of the surging cases of COVID-19 here. Tribune News Service

Added to the growing list of damage the anti-vaccination /anti-mask crowd is doing to America is the recommendation of renewed travel bans in the European Union against U.S. visitors, due to spiking coronavirus cases here. Congratulations to all those anti-science “patriots” out there for turning America into a global leper.

Thankfully, the European Union’s recommendation to its 27 member nations will primarily affect Americans who lack proof of vaccination. Depending on the decisions of individual member nations, Americans with coronavirus vaccination cards will likely still be able to travel through most of Europe, though testing and quarantine requirements might still apply.

The mere fact Americans’ failure to contain the coronavirus has put it back on a watchlist of suspect nations — along with countries such as Kosovo, Montenegro and North Macedonia — cannot be viewed as anything other than a national embarrassment.

The non-binding recommendation to EU members is a reversal of a decision in June to lift restrictions on American travelers, based on hopeful signs back then that the pandemic was under control because of rising vaccination numbers and falling infection rates.

U.S. infections, hospitalizations and deaths have all spiked since late June. The delta variant is more aggressive than earlier forms of the coronavirus, but the resurgence was by no means inevitable. It’s been driven by rejection of vaccination and mask rules by significant swaths of America.

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Part of the problem is in Black urban enclaves, where historical distrust of government and the medical establishment runs deep, but at least Black leaders are trying to counter it. The far higher numbers of people resisting pandemic safety in red-state regions, including much of rural Missouri, are actually being fueled by Republican politicians pandering to the misinformed.

Governors in states like Texas and Florida are even assertively preventing school mask orders and vaccination requirements for private sector employees — this as their states rack up record new infection rates, hospital bed shortages and fatalities. It may be good politics, but it’s morally indefensible.

No wonder Europ e is suddenly reconsidering its view that highly valued U.S. tourism dollars are worth the risk of allowing unfettered American entry.

Last month’s EU announcement recommends “temporary restrictions on non-essential travel” to Americans and citizens of a handful of other countries. Member nations remain free to decide for themselves whether to institute such restrictions and, if so, how stringent they should be and whether they will make exceptions for travelers who can who show proof of vaccination.

This means traveling Americans will almost certainly face a mish-mash of different restrictions in different European countries as the continent tries to figure out how to handle a superpower that can’t handle the coronavirus. Though many supporters of former President Donald Trump reject the vaccines that (to his credit) he delivered, they still like to claim the “Make America Great Again” mantra. In fact, they’re making America humiliated.

This American Opinion editorial is the opinion of the editorial board of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Editorial Board.
©2021 STLtoday.com . Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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