The State Department Gives Instructions for Americans Fleeing Ukraine — and They Make No Sense

The State Department Gives Instructions for Americans Fleeing Ukraine — and They Make No Sense
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

After Joe Biden spoke to Vladimir Putin Saturday, it doesn’t appear we are any closer to having any clear picture of what’s going to happen between Russia and Ukraine. Is it all one big ruse, where Putin gets concessions on NATO and his energy demands, while Biden gets to claim he saved Europe? Or is an invasion truly imminent, as the White House has repeatedly stated?

What we do know is that Americans are being urged to flee Ukraine, and the U.S. State Department has released instructions on where to go. The problem is that they make no sense.

According to the State Department, Americans crossing the border into Poland to seek refuge must present proof of vaccination from COVID-19. Yet, if you go to Poland’s official website, it lays out what they require of foreign entrants. Not only do they not require COVID-19 vaccinations, but they also have provisions to allow testing after arrival. Even if one can’t get tested, they have quarantine protocol to follow while still allowing entry.

That begs the question of why the State Department is telling Americans who are rushing to leave a possible warzone that they must be vaccinated. That would seem to be a rather stupid thing to do, as worrying about vaccination status should be the last thing on anyone’s mind in that situation. What happens if an American is in Ukraine but isn’t vaccinated and needs to escape to Poland? Are they just stuck? The State Department doesn’t even bother to offer an answer.

I suppose it’s possible that Poland has made special rules only for Americans coming from Ukraine prior to a Russian invasion, though, that seems incredibly unlikely. Further, given Poland’s very pro-American stance, there’s no doubt one phone call from Joe Biden could get any restrictions removed. Has the president done that? If not, why not?

But even putting all of the discussion of vaccination aside, the State Department’s urging American evacuees to go get a negative PCR test first is especially bizarre. War could break out at any moment, and the United States wants its citizens to…get a COVID test before evacuating? How would that even work?

I’m not sure who wrote that email that got sent out, but it just comes across as incredibly unthoughtful and badly researched. This isn’t the time to be irrationally pushing COVID restrictions when we know vaccinations don’t stop the spread of the virus anyway. This is a time for the President of the United States to be working with Poland to allow Americans to enter no matter what their status is. That doesn’t appear to be happening, and it’s just insane at this point. Does the president want Americans to end up trapped again? If he doesn’t, he’s sure not acting like it.

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