Reporter Hijacks Press Conference To Grill Psaki On ‘Racist’ Travel Restrictions

[Screenshot/Rumble/Daily Caller]

Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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A reporter interrupted Thursday’s press conference and confronted White House press secretary Jen Psaki over President Joe Biden’s “racist” travel restrictions against African countries over the Omicron variant.

The Biden administration, along with other nations, imposed travel restrictions on South Africa and its neighboring countries on Nov. 29, with the advice of White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci. South Africa had the first confirmed case of the variant, which has quickly spread to other parts of the globe.

Today News Africa reporter Simon Ateba said that South Africa only accounts for 6% of the Omicron variant cases, but that nearly 70 countries have solely imposed restrictions on African countries. He challenged Psaki on the U.S. imposing restrictions on only eight African countries, rather than on all 57 countries that have confirmed cases of the variant.


“What would you say to those who believe that this is a racist ban, that it is only on African and black African nations?” Ateba pressed. (RELATED: POLL: Americans Aren’t Cowering In Fear Of Omicron Variant)

“Simon, I would convey to you that that is absolutely not the intention, that is not our policy,” Psaki said. “This was a recommendation of the health and medical experts because there was a large number of cases in South Africa, and they made a decision early on out of an abundance of caution to protect the American people to slow the spread of the variant.”

She added that the restrictions are not permanent and are not intended to punish any of these nations. She said the administration is seeking to lift the restrictions by listening to the recommendations of their COVID team, and will if they are advised to do so.

The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres criticized nations, including the U.S, for the restrictions, calling it a “travel apartheid.”

The U.S. had its first confirmed case of the Omicron variant on Dec. 1 in California. Fauci admitted Tuesday that the variant is “almost certainly” less dangerous than the Delta variant.