TV ads look to force border reopening

Retired Florida magazine publisher John Adams, pictured at Niagara Falls this past week, purchased TV ads in Canada to put pressure on officials there to reopen the border with the U.S. sooner. (Contributed photo)

Last month, Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer stood at the Rainbow Bridge and called for the immediate opening of the border to a broader definition of essential travelers.

So far, nothing has changed.

The border between the U.S. and Canada remains closed to nonessential travel through June 21.

Retired Florida magazine publisher John Adams is now taking his kick at the can. Last year he purchased TV ads in Florida and helped get that state to reopen its vacation rental industry. He’s hoping to do the same thing for the border.

“The problem with a guy like Sen. Schumer is there 535 of them going from one pile of cow crap to the next. It’s hard to get anything done,” Adams said.

Adams is now purchasing television ads in Toronto and Ottawa offering the same pleas. He has some skin in the game as well, since he summers on Vancouver Island in British Columbia.

“I think it is going to make a difference because Trudeau is not going to want that ad on the air," Adams said. "We will only take it off the air if he makes a deal."

Last week, Adams visited Detroit on Tuesday and was in Buffalo and Niagara Falls Thursday to promote his cause.

Rep. Brian Higgins (D-Buffalo) said that while he is working on the issue he doesn’t have progress to report. When will the border open?

“Hopefully soon,” he said. “We don’t have any definitive answer. There were rumors yesterday the border will be opened and it will be opened immediately. I checked it out at the highest level and there was no validity.

“The border can be opened and it can be opened safely. The vaccine is highly effective. It keeps you from giving Covid and it keeps you from getting Covid.”

On a national basis, the U.S. continues to bar most visitors from Europe, China, India, Brazil and other places. Inbound international travelers, including American citizens, must pass a COVID-19 test before boarding flights. The State Department discourages foreign trips, labeling most of the world’s countries high-risk.

Adams said he has a full understanding of why it is so difficult to get anything done in Congress.

Domestic air travel in the U.S. is nearly back to 2019 levels, but travel-industry groups are growing impatient with what they see as an overly timid response by the Biden administration to allowing more international visitors.

“As we continue to see vaccination rates increase and infection rates decrease, it’s absolutely critical from an economic standpoint to reopen international travel,” said Tori Emerson Barnes, executive vice president of the U.S. Travel Association.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

All about

that name

John Adams is a 70-year old retired magazine publisher. So what’s the funniest story relating to sharing a name with the second president? That’s easy.

“I told Jeb Bush when he was running for President is he started showing strong, I was going to get in the race and take him down. If a name was going to go on the list of Presidents for a third time, it should be Adams, not Bush”

Adams pointed out that shortly thereafter, President Donald Trump tabbed Bush “low-energy Jeb” and the campaign never recovered.

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