Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said a US travel ban against South Africa and several other African countries is being reassessed every day.
He said the United States was aware of the difficulties the bans had placed on countries.
Fauci, who is the chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, said the ban was put in place when the United States was “in the dark” and only learned of an increase in cases in South Africa due to of the Omicron variant and added that the ban was intended to give time to assess the situation.
The United States has banned entry to travelers from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi, but the variant has now been identified in dozens of countries and several US states.
Many other countries, including the UK, Australia, Japan, Brazil, Canada, India and Russia, as well as the European Union, have also imposed new travel restrictions due to the Omicron variant.
“Now, as you mentioned, as we get more and more information about cases in our own country and around the world, we are looking at this very carefully on a daily basis. Hopefully we can lift this ban in a reasonably reasonable amount of time, ”Fauci told CNN’s Jake Tapper on the State of the Union on Sunday.