Republican Senators Call for Travel Ban From China Amid Pneumonia Surge

Republican Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), J.D. Vance (R-OH), Rick Scott (R-FL), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), and Mike Braun (R-IN) sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to “immediately restrict travel between the United States and the PRC.”

“As you know, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has a long history of lying about public health crises. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the CCP’s obfuscation of the truth, and lack of transparency, robbed the United States of vital knowledge about the disease and its origin,” the letter says.

“At this moment, the world faces another unknown pathogen emanating from the PRC that could spread to other countries, including the United States. The PRC has reported an increase in this mystery illness—which it claims to be pneumonia caused by known pathogens—since mid-October. This illness reportedly is a special hazard for children and has overrun hospitals in the north of the country. The World Health Organization (WHO) says it is unclear if the disease is due to an overall increase in respiratory infections or separate events. If history is any indication, we have cause to be concerned.”

“[W]e should not wait for the WHO to take action given its track record of slavish deference to the CCP. We must take the necessary steps to protect the health of Americans, and our economy,” the senators wrote. “That means we should immediately restrict travel between the United States and the PRC until we know more about the dangers posed by this new illness. A ban on travel now could save our country from death, lockdowns, mandates, and further outbreaks later.”

The letter comes as Massachusetts and Ohio have reported a surge in child pneumonia cases.

According to NewsNation, Ohio’s Warren County said the 142 cases since August exceed the county’s average and have been considered an “outbreak.”

“The average age thus far is around 8 years old, the cases span multiple school districts and there have been no conclusive patterns among the children diagnosed,” a press release says.

A Massachusetts physician said the illness may be RSV.

“This is the season for RSV and we’re seeing a whole lot of it … a lot of kids with upper viral respiratory infections, cough, runny nose, some fevers,” Dr. John Kelly told Western Mass News. “And the thinking with RSV is that it can cause lower viral respiratory infections, so they get spread to your lungs.”

China recently reported a surge in pneumonia.

A report from ProMed said that children’s hospitals in “Beijing, Liaoning and other places were overwhelmed with sick children, and schools and classes were on the verge of suspension. Parents questioned whether the authorities were covering up the epidemic.”