Joe Biden took a few seconds of silence at the podium to wipe a tear from his eye as he gave a speech in New Castle, Delaware. He told the audience: “This is kind of emotional for me. You’ve been with my whole career; through the good times and the bad. I want to thank you for everything.”
He added: “I can’t express how much you mean to me and to every one of us.
“In our family, the values we share, the character that we strive for, the way we view the world, it all comes from home. It all comes from Delaware.
“The state that gave my mother and father a livelihood when they needed it most.
“A state that made my brother, sister and I that we could do whatever we dreamed of.”
US President-elect Joe Biden plans to sign dozens of executive orders and send sweeping bills to Congress in his first days in office, aiming to roll back some of Donald Trump’s signature policies on immigration and climate change while taking action to ramp up the government’s response to the coronavirus crisis.
He plans to quickly extend travel restrictions barring travel by most people who have recently been in much of Europe and Brazil soon after President Donald Trump lifted those requirements effective January 26, a spokeswoman for Mr Biden said.
Mr Trump signed an order Monday lifting the restrictions he imposed early last year in response to the pandemic after winning support from coronavirus task force members and public health officials.
Soon after Mr Trump’s order was made public, Mr Biden’s spokeswoman Jen Psaki tweeted “on the advice of our medical team, the Administration does not intend to lift these restrictions on 1/26.”
She added that “With the pandemic worsening, and more contagious variants emerging around the world, this is not the time to be lifting restrictions on international travel.”
Until Biden acts, Trump’s order ends restrictions the same day that new COVID-19 test requirements take effect for all international visitors. Trump is due to leave office on Wednesday.
Last week, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signed an order requiring nearly all air travelers to present a negative coronavirus test or proof of recovery from COVID-19 to enter the United States starting on January. 26.
The restrictions Trump rescinded have barred nearly all non-U.S. citizens who within the last 14 days have been in Brazil, the United Kingdom, Ireland and the 26 countries of the Schengen area in Europe that allow travel across open borders.
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The US restrictions barring most visitors from Europe have been in place since mid-March when Trump signed proclamations imposing them, while the Brazilian entry ban was imposed in May.
Psaki added that “in fact, we plan to strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19.” The Biden transition did not immediately respond to a request to comment on if it planned to expand the countries covered.
Biden, once in office, has the legal authority to reimpose the restrictions.
Last Tuesday, Marty Cetron, director of CDC’s global migration and quarantine division, told Reuters those entry bans were an “opening act strategy” to address the virus spread and should now be “actively reconsidered.”