President Donald Trump bans travel to Europe for 30 days over coronavirus outbreak
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American President Donald Trump has ordered a total ban on travel from Europe as coronavirus continues to spread in the United States. The ban will be in place for the next 30 days, and Americans currently in Europe will be allowed to return home.
In an Oval Office address on coronavirus tonight, March 11 at 9pm ET., President Trump said, “We are marshaling the full power of the federal government. I am confident that we will significantly reduce the threat.. and defeat this virus.”
The ban on travel from Europe will go into effect Friday, March 13 at Midnight and does not include Britain. Trade and cargo will also come to a halt under the new guidelines.
The ban will allow exemptions for Americans who have undergone screenings before returning home, but it is unclear at this point how they will be screened.
The president suggested it was partly Europe’s fault that the outbreak is now spreading in the U.S., saying, “The EU failed to restrict travel. ”
The president also stated that hospitals in the U.S. will waive co-payments for coronavirus treatments, and that his administration is “cutting red tape to make antivirals available.” He also pointed to the newly-passed $8.3 billion coronavirus funding bill.
The president also said that, for the vast majority of Americans, risk of contracting the virus is low. He did acknowledge, however, that the highest infection risk is for the elderly and warned that this group in particular should avoid non-essential travel.
He also encouraged all Americans to follow the CDC’s hygiene guidelines including:
- Washing hands
- Cleaning often-used surfaces
- Covering your mouth and nose when coughing
- Staying home if you’re sick
There are also reports that President Trump is putting his senior advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner into a primary role overseeing the coronavirus response.
The president had downplayed the outbreak over the past few weeks, even going as far as to suggest it would “disappear.” On Tuesday, the president said “It will go away.. It’s really working out.”
More than 1,000 people in more than 35 states are sick, and testing has not been widespread.
Dr. Anthony Fauci – the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases – said today, “Things will get worse than they are.”
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad F Wolf issued a statement after the president’s speech tonight saying in part:
The President said towards the end of the address, “Americans always rise to the challenge.”