Republicans argue that if the Biden administration believes more coronavirus funding is necessary, it should not rescind a policy ostensibly aimed at reducing the spread of virus. “Democrats don’t act like they think Covid is finished,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor on Thursday. “They give speeches daily about the need for more funding. They say we should be sending health assistance around the world. The only place on the planet where Democrats say Covid is over is on our southern border.”
When The New Republic asked Senator Thom Tillis, one of the Republican co-sponsors of the bipartisan bill, how long the ostensibly temporary Title 42 should stay in effect, he responded by asking whether Covid-19 had abated in Central America. “By eliminating Title 42, we could actually be at a point where we’re going to bring in and have future threats, particularly if we have another variant from nations that do not currently have the modicum of control that we have over Covid,” Tillis said Thursday. “I just think it’s poorly thought out. And you know when something’s poorly thought out is when people from [Biden’s] party are saying it’s a bad idea.” (The $10 billion coronavirus bill did not include funding for global health efforts, due to opposition from Republicans.)
GOP Senator James Lankford, who introduced the bill with Sinema, told reporters that it was hypocritical to leave other coronavirus restrictions, such as mask requirements on planes, in place but lift Title 42. “Obviously, you can’t have a $10 billion covid bill and say, ‘We’ve got to deal with covidbut we don’t have to deal with it on the border,’” Lankford said.