Fauci says US will not ban flights from South Africa for now

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  • Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s most senior COVID official, said there would be no ban on flights for now 
  • He told CNN he was rushing to gather data and may ban flights in the future, but only once he knows more 
  • He wants to continue studying B.1.1.529 –  the new ‘super mutant’ from South Africa has been named Omicron
  • Fauci says there is no proof yet that it can evade the vaccine and that he wants to test whether or not it does 
  • The EU is telling member countries to stop flights to South Africa and quarantine anyone who comes from there 
  • President Biden, who is on Nantucket for Thanksgiving, has not commented on the variant and neither has The White House  
  • The Dow slipped by 2.28 percent – 1,000 points – on Friday and the S&P Futures and Nasdaq indices also slumped  
  • The B.1.1.529 variant has a ‘very unusual constellation’ of mutations and may be more resistant to the vaccine
  • There are currently 77 confirmed cases in South Africa, four in Botswana, one in Hong Kong and one in Israel
  • However, the real numbers are likely much higher as health authorities establish the full scale of the spread
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