VATICAN CITY (AP) — Infectious disease experts are expressing concern about Pope Francis’ upcoming trip to Iraq.
They are citing a sharp rise in coronavirus infections there, a fragile health care system and the unavoidable likelihood that Iraqis will crowd to see him.
No one wants to tell Francis not to make the March 5-8 visit, and the Iraqi government has every interest in welcoming a pope to the country for the first time and showing off its relative stability.
The pope and the media traveling with him have been vaccinated against the virus, but many Iraqis have not.
Public health experts say a papal trip to Iraq in the middle of a global pandemic is just not advisable.