NEW YORK - As concerns over a new, even more infectious variant of the coronavirus that has been found in England rise, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is arguing that the U.S. needs to do more to protect itself from the possible threat.
"There's a disturbing story coming out of the U.K. with this new variant of the virus, which according to Boris Johnson is 70% more transmissible," Cuomo said during a teleconference on Sunday. "We have about six flights a day coming in from the U.K. and we have done absolutely nothing."
Several nations in the European Union have banned travel from the U.K. in order to try and stop the new virus from gaining a foothold.
"Other European countries have done a ban," Cuomo said. "We haven't. And today that variant is getting on a plane and landing at JFK. How many times in life do you have to make the same mistake before you learn? Be one of the 120 countries that requires a test before you come to the U.S."
U.K Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Saturday that the new strain of the virus is 70% more infectious than existing versions, but that there was no evidence that it was more lethal, caused more severe illnesses or that vaccines would be less effective against it.
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Meanwhile, New York announced nearly 10,000 positive COVID tests on Saturday, with 9,957 people testing positive for the virus. Another 123 people died as a result of COVID-19 infections, bringing the total number of deaths in the state to 35,897 since the beginning of the pandemic.