How tennis and Djokovic push against the US Covid vaccine rule

How tennis and Djokovic push against the US Covid vaccine rule

King, who worked with the Biden administration last year to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the landmark legislation guaranteeing girls and women in America equal opportunity in sports, reached out to acquaintances in the White House on his behalf. The ATP, the fledgling organization Djokovic has led since 2020, has worked on her contacts as well.

IMG, the sports and entertainment conglomerate that represents Djokovic, has enlisted government relations and immigration teams, which often work with the government on regulatory matters and to ensure entry for its foreign clients under routine conditions.

For IMG, the interest goes beyond his relationship with Djokovic. The company owns the Miami Open. Tournament executives reached out to Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, who along with Sen. Rick Scott, another Florida Republican, wrote a letter Urge the Biden administration to end the vaccination requirement.

One person who didn’t get involved is Ari Emanuel, CEO of Endeavor, which owns IMG. Emanuel’s brother, Rahm Emanuel, was Obama’s chief of staff during his first term. His other brother, Ezekiel J. Emanuel, health policy advisor in the Obama White House. While Ari Emmanuel may eventually step in on Djokovic’s behalf, it is not clear if that would help. It could also backfire, causing the Biden administration to worry about the optics of providing a favor to someone with access to the highest levels of government.

For Haas and others who support Djokovic, and even some experts on infectious diseases, the ongoing ban on unvaccinated foreign travelers remains baffling. There is no requirement to receive a boost. So anyone who two years ago received a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which was only mildly effective and whose health benefits would likely have long since lapsed, would be able to enter the country, but unvaccinated individuals are not, even if Have tested negative before. Boarding a flight.

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Gigi Gronval, an immunologist and senior researcher at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, is a staunch proponent of the vaccine, for the health of those vaccinated and everyone around them, but she acknowledged that being vaccinated two years ago probably offers little protection today. She also said it was unlikely that a rule like the one in place would force more unvaccinated individuals to get vaccinated.

“If they hadn’t done it by now,” she said, “I don’t know if it would have provided any incentive.”

A CDC spokesperson said last month that the rule is the result of a presidential proclamation separate from health emergency provisions that the Biden administration plans to end on May 11. The travel rule will only end when President Biden decides to lift it. .

The Biden administration has said it will consult health experts for its decision on this rule and all other policies related to Covid-19.

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