U.S.'s failure to screen UK travelers 'reprehensible' -Cuomo

The U.S. government does not intend to impose COVID-19 screenings for passengers traveling from Britain after the emergence of a highly infectious new coronavirus variant there, people briefed on the decision said.

Cuomo on Wednesday said, "It is deja vu. It is the same mistake the federal government made that killed thousands of people and cost billions of dollars. They lost track of the virus. They knew it was in China and then they lost track of it. And what happened is the virus got on a plane and went to Europe and then got on another plane and flew to the United States."

White House coronavirus task force members backed requiring negative pre-flight tests after a meeting on Monday, but the Trump administration has decided not to take any action for the time being, the people said.

Much of the world shut their borders to Britain after the discovery of a mutated variant of the novel coronavirus, though the European Union recommended on Tuesday that members roll back sweeping closures to allow some travel.

Cuomo said earlier this week he asked airlines to add his state to a list of 120 countries that require COVID-19 screening for incoming air travelers.

Video Transcript

ANDREW CUOMO: Why aren't we saying, test the travelers in the UK before they get on a plane? Why aren't we saying, test travelers, period, before they get on a plane and come to the United States? I mean, why wouldn't you do that?

This is what happened in the spring. It is deja vu. It is the same mistake the federal government made that killed thousands of people and cost billions of dollars. They lost track of the virus. They knew it was in China, and then they lost track of it.

And what happened is the virus got on a plane and went to Europe, and then got on another plane and flew to the United States, and nobody knew it. That's what the history books will write was the gross negligence of this federal government. That will be the legacy.

Test travelers before they come. That HHS and the CDC have not acted on this is really reprehensible. I don't know if they're just checked out. And if they're checked out, they should resign.