In an Oval office address on Wednesday night, President Trump took his most aggressive actions to date against the coronavirus outbreak.
What We Know:
- During an Oval office address President Trump expressed disdain for Europe’s inactions to curb the coronavirus. “The European Union failed to take the same precautions and restrict travel from China and other hot spots,” Trump said. “As a result, a large number of new clusters in the United States were seeded by travel.”
- Trump elaborated on the new European travel ban saying, “To keep new cases from entering our shores, we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days”. This ban will start Friday March 13th.
- Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolfe released a statement after the address saying the restrictions did not apply to “legal permanent residents, (generally) immediate family members of U.S. citizens, and other individuals who are identified in the proclamation.”
- Wolfe also said the European travel ban applied to any foreign national who had been in major European Union countries affected by the coronavirus in the last two weeks, including France, Germany, Italy, Spain, as well as others.
- One country that was not included in the European travel ban was the United Kingdom which currently has 456 cases of the virus. Trump failed to elaborate on why they would not be included in the ban.
- Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told Congress in a hearing Wednesday morning: “The flu has a mortality rate of 0.1 percent. This has a mortality rate of 10 times that. That’s the reason I want to emphasize we have to stay ahead of the game in preventing this.” Fauci expressed that the current mortality rate is around 1 percent globally. This came after the President compared the coronavirus to the seasonal flu Tuesday morning in a tweet.
Fauci also said the U.S. should expect to see many more cases of the coronavirus in the coming weeks.
The action @POTUS is taking to deny entry to foreign nationals who have been in coronavirus-affected areas will keep Americans safe & save lives. These are not easy decisions but they are required. I will issue guidance within 48 hours outlining details.https://t.co/KYXE7JKswC pic.twitter.com/zgi6r5FoZq
— Acting Secretary Chad Wolf (@DHS_Wolf) March 12, 2020