The restrictions follow a growing health crisis in India, which is currently in the midst of the world’s worst Covid-19 outbreak.
The United States on Thursday began shipping a range of medical supplies to the country, including oxygen and protective gear. It is also sending the materials needed to manufacture 20 million doses of AstraZeneca’s Covid vaccine.
But the rising death toll in India has also increased pressure on the administration to do more to help the rest of the world eradicate the pandemic.
Earlier this week, Biden pledged to send 60 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine overseas following an appeal with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. But the shots must first erase a security review that could take weeks, and administration officials remain divided over when to begin a more sustained effort to help the Covid-19 response in other countries.
Meanwhile, the White House faces calls from progressive groups and even some Democrats in Congress to step up aid to India.
“The United States cannot stand idly by as millions of people suffer from this pandemic,” Senator Elizabeth Warren wrote in a letter to Biden on Wednesday. “In light of this growing humanitarian crisis, I urge you to take advantage of all the tools and resources available to the United States to provide assistance to India.”
Biden restricted travel to a range of countries in the first few months of his presidency, including reimposing Trump-era bans on non-U.S. Travelers from Brazil, the United Kingdom, Ireland and the United States. dozens of other European countries. The administration also restricted travel from South Africa in January, in response to the emergence of a new, more transmissible Covid variant.