Deliberations within the Biden administration on a proposed vaccine mandate for all foreign travelers visiting the United States appear to be stalling. Even as the president and Democratic Party continue to advocate for vaccine mandates across the country, a latent public relations disaster awaits the White House if it presses forward with such requirements for all foreign visitors. Many European Union countries have opened up travel from the U.S. since the summer, yet Europeans remain barred from traveling to the United States under any circumstances. The perceived slight has led European leaders to criticize the travel ban, which has shown no sign of disappearing under the Biden administration.
Lingering questions loom over any possible decision. Would vaccines not yet approved in the United States – like the Oxford-AstraZeneca, Sinopharm, Sputnik, Sinovac, and Covaxin inoculations – be sufficient? What would be considered acceptable forms of proof? What kind of protection would be in place to protect against fabricated vaccination records? These sorts of questions remain unanswered, likely contributing to the unwillingness of the president to move forward with the leaked proposal.
A Political Play?
According to the State Department, New York and Florida receive the most international tourists in the country. There is likely pressure on the administration to lend some support to the Democrat-dominated state struggling with the consequences of its own irresponsible fiscal policy. Many Republicans would not put it past the president to refrain from helping Florida out for political purposes, considering Governor Ron DeSantis’ prominence within the GOP. Optimism about the coronavirus situation in the U.S. continues to sink lower than ever before, with morale falling as both the vaccinated and unvaccinated remain cooped up at the ever-changing whims of bureaucrats. The current administration could undoubtedly use some praise, but even its usual media allies continue to peddle doom and gloom to Americans each day.
The public relations debacle looming over any potential action from the White House lies at the southern border. Even as Americans are compelled and forced to adhere to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, wave after wave of unvaccinated, untested illegal migrants are being apprehended and released across the United States. In particular, Texas has been forced to deal with the brunt of this new challenge introduced by the Biden administration. Border cities across the state have been forced to build hastily constructed holding facilities and tented living areas for migrants apprehended by Border Patrol agents. In July alone, over 180,000 immigrants arrived at the southern border, with no evidence of any vaccination or testing campaigns to determine the health risk they may pose to the communities around them.
Like so many of President Biden’s past actions, his browbeating rhetoric toward unvaccinated, untested Americans and foreigners contrasts with his apathy regarding the hundreds of thousands of migrants traveling to America with a gift in the form of a positive COVID-19 test before being deported. In particular, Ron DeSantis called out the president for failing to contain COVID-19 at the border while lecturing Republicans for not doing enough to battle the spreading variants nationwide. Similarly, Biden’s Justice Department has condemned Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order that allows state troopers to pull over vehicles carrying migrants and send people back to their port of entry. The order was eventually blocked at the request of the Justice Department, handing a victory to the president.
Joe Biden is under assault on all sides due to his stalling legislative agenda in Congress and his alleged unconstitutional move to extend the eviction moratorium with the Supreme Court out of session. Despite his promises, COVID-19 remains rampant under Biden’s watch, the immigration crisis has only gotten worse, and his campaign promises continue to falter and die in the halls of Congress. Such failures are certainly contributing to his current indecisiveness on further executive orders, especially those that will not grant him immediate gratification from progressive Democrats. The president is stuck between a rock and a hard place – and he seems unwilling or unable to break free.
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