A Delta Airline flight from South Africa has been diverted from Atlanta to Boston with the American authorities asserting that the decision had nothing to do with the new Covid-19 variant omicron.
This is while the United States is set to restrict travel from eight southern African countries beginning on Monday.
The US Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement that the decision to divert the plane’s destination had been made due to “technical specifications” without elaborating further.
“The redirection of the flight had to do with the technical specifications of our A350 aircraft and the payload of this particular flight,” a spokeswoman for Delta said in an email to The Hill. “This can happen on ultra-long-haul flights when optimal operating conditions can’t be met. Not Covid-related at all.”
US President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, Anthony Fauci, asserted earlier that travel restrictions should be employed to delay the spread of the new coronavirus variant into the United States.
"Travel bans, when you have a highly transmissible virus, never completely would ... prevent it from coming into the country. No way that's going to happen,” Fauci told ABC News. “But what you can do is you can delay it enough to get us better prepared. And that's the thing that people need to understand. If you're going to do the travel ban the way we've done now and that we're implementing right now, utilize the time that you're buying to fill in the gaps.”
Fauci also appeared on CBS News, where he slammed the spread of misinformation and brought up the issue of Jan. 6 protests by former President Donald Trump’s fans along with the Republicans’ support or silence.
“Sen. [Ted] Cruz told the attorney general you should be prosecuted,” moderator Margaret Brennan told Fauci, to which he replied: “Yeah. I have to laugh at that. I should be prosecuted? What happened on Jan. 6, senator?”