Five Republican senators have urged President Joe Biden to restrict travel between the US and China as the communist state sees a rise in pediatric pneumonia cases.
Senators Marco Rubio, JD Vance, Rick Scott, Tommy Tuberville, and Mike Braun called to “immediately restrict travel” as China has had a “long history of lying about public health crises,” a Dec. 1 letter read.
The five men cited the COVID-19 pandemic as evidence, saying that China’s “lack of transparency” has “robbed” the US of “vital knowledge” in the past.
“If history is any indication, we have cause to be concerned,” the letter read.
The World Health Organization has requested China share “detailed information” regarding the outbreak, which is largely attacking children and has caused overcrowding in some of the country’s hospitals.
But the senators said there is no time to wait “wait for the WHO to take action given its track record of slavish deference to the [Communist Party of China].”
“We must take the necessary steps to protect the health of Americans, and our economy. 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,” the letter said.
“A ban on travel now could save our country from death, lockdowns, mandates, and further outbreaks later.”
The five politicians also cited how former President Donald Trump had restricted travel from China to the US in January 2020 as COVID-19 began its spread. They claim something similar is a necessity to avoid another catastrophic world event.
In addition, childhood pneumonia cases have popped up in the US, including nearly 150 cases near Cleveland, Ohio, since August. Although health officials said there’s no cause for alarm, it is unknown if Ohio cases are from the same strain that is attacking China.
Pediatric pneumonia has also risen in Massachusetts, but state officials believe it is the common RSV strain that kills around 10,000 Americans every year.
Federal officials also said they do not currently believe there is a link between the pneumonia cases across the United States and the mysterious illness affecting China.
“We are seeing about the same number and type of pneumonia cases in children and adults as we typically see this time of the year,” David Daigle, a spokesman for the Centers for Disease Control, said in a statement to the Post.
“We will continue to closely monitor pneumonia infections and other respiratory infections and work with local health officials to ensure communities have the tools they need to respond,” he noted.