But in giving its allies what they wanted, the U.S. also ended up confirming one of their key arguments: that these restrictions, like many of the byzantine rules that govern the way people live and travel, had little basis in fact or science. By lifting its travel restrictions in an apparent bid to appease jilted partners, the U.S. helped illustrate how nonsensical the ban was in the first place.
In some ways, the Biden administration’s decision was the culmination of worsening ties between Washington and Europe. Although the problems began at the start of the summer, when the U.S. declined to reciprocate the European Union’s decision to reopen its borders to American tourists, transatlantic discontent quickly began to grow in size and scope. First there was the unilateral and seemingly chaotic handling of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, during which President Joe Biden rebuffed European leaders’ requests to delay the August 31 deadline to allow more time for evacuations. Then came last week’s news of the new AUKUS pact among the U.S., Britain, and Australia—an agreement that ended an existing submarine deal between Australia and France and prompted Paris to withdraw its ambassadors to Washington and Canberra in protest.
“After the submarines, I think Europeans really needed to have some proof that something was going well,” Célia Belin, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, in Washington, D.C., who has closely followed this issue, told me.
Sources: HotAir: America’s travel ban made no sense