Let Dr. Hyvarinen fly to USA during Covid-19 travel ban

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The purpose of this petition is to persuade the US State Department to grant a National Interest Exception (NIE) to Dr. Lea Hyvärinen so she can travel direct from Helsinki, Finland to the United States without spending 14 days in another COVID exempt country prior to entry in the US. 

Dr. Lea Hyvärinen is a world-renowned expert and pioneer in children's vision.  She created the LEA Symbols and LEA Numbers vision testing system used in 142 countries and the United States. Dr. Hyvärinen wants to donate her scientific archives to the Eye Center at Hershey Medical/Penn State in Hershey, Pennsylvania. She is the only one who has the familiarity and scientific expertise to organize and select the most important documents for memorialization.  These historical archives are a compilation of 50 years of science and case studies.  They are currently being stored at her daughter’s home near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  Preserving Dr. Hyvärinen’s legacy and teachings impacts current and future vision professionals not only in the United States but around the world. Dr. Hyvärinen is 81 years old and our goal is to secure her scientific legacy before she passes away.  

Dr. Hyvärinen’s multi-language website (9 languages) is also being redesigned by a local design team in Pennsylvania, but presents continual challenges while she is in Finland. Dr. Hyvärinen cannot move forward on either project because she is unable to secure a NIE from the U.S. Embassy in Helsinki, Finland due to the COVID-19 travel ban (Presidential Proclamation 10143). 

Dr. Hyvarinen has a valid US entry visa (B-1, B-2) that doesn't expire until 2027 and is fully vaccinated for Covid-19. Please grant Dr. Hyvarinen permission to travel directly from Helsinki to New York. 



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