The Biden administration is facing criticism from various quarters for refusing to permit renowned tennis player Novak Djokovic to enter the United States due to his vaccination status. Djokovic, a 35-year-old Serbian athlete who is presently ranked as the world’s top player, asked for a vaccine exemption that would have allowed him to participate in a tournament later this month as an unvaccinated foreign traveler, but the Department of Homeland Security rejected his request. Consequently, Djokovic, who has already contracted COVID-19, decided to withdraw from the Indian Wells tournament scheduled to take place in California from Wednesday through March 19.
Republican Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott of Florida co-wrote a letter to President Biden urging him to approve a waiver request for Djokovic to participate in the upcoming Miami Open from March 19 to April 2. The letter cited Biden’s previous statement on 60 Minutes that the COVID-19 pandemic was over and Dr. Anthony Fauci’s article acknowledging the limited efficacy of vaccines against respiratory pathogens, including the novel coronavirus. The senators argued that since Djokovic was in excellent physical shape and not at high risk of severe COVID-19 complications, it would be inconsistent with the views of Biden’s administration to deny the waiver request.
The Biden administration’s decision has been met with criticism from all sides. Comedian Bill Maher said the U.S. “is stuck on stupid” and many others have ripped the Biden administration over the policy. Even the U.S. Open weighed in, expressing hope that the U.S. will let “one of the greatest champions our sport has ever seen” compete.
The vaccine mandate imposed by the Biden administration on foreign travelers entering the United States is outdated and should be revoked, as it is evident. By refusing to allow Novak Djokovic to enter the country, the administration is conveying a message that it does not appreciate elite athletes or acknowledge the financial advantages they bring to local economies. This ruling is another indication of how the Biden administration is struggling to steer our country in a constructive direction and instead prefers to pursue policies that are detrimental to our citizens and economy.