President Trump announced a major precautionary move to combat the spread of the Coronavirus: banning all travel from Europe.
During an address Wednesday evening at the White House, the president said the move would protect people in the U.S. from potentially being contacted by someone bringing the Coronavirus from overseas.
“The potential for undetected transmission of the virus by infected individuals seeking to enter the United States from the Schengen Area threatens the security of our transportation system and infrastructure and the national security,” Trump said in the new proclamation.
“Given the importance of protecting persons within the United States from the threat of this harmful communicable disease, I have determined that it is in the interests of the United States to take action to restrict and suspend the entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of all aliens who were physically present within the Schengen Area during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States,” he added, per BizPac Review.
CNBC reports 26 European countries are affected by the travel ban, including: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Six countries excluded by the ban include the U.K., Ireland, Croatia, Cyprus, Bulgaria, and Romania.
The “early intense action” is undoubtedly aimed at helping the U.S. avoid a situation like the one in Italy where the country has been devastated by the Coronavirus. The country has “the highest number of coronavirus infections outside of China,” CNBC reports, citing its 12,462 confirmed cases.
— AFP news agency (@AFP) March 12, 2020
The ban was included in a list of several other precautionary measures announced by Trump
Independent Journal Review reports:
He also announced that he ordered the Small Business Administration to issue low-interest loans to small businesses in areas hit hard by the virus. He also called for Congress to pass a payroll tax cut.
Additionally, he said he would order the Treasury Department to delay the deadline for tax payments, for certain individuals, without interest — which he said would provide the economy with $200 billion in liquidity.
“This is not a financial crisis, this is just a temporary moment of time that we will overcome as a nation, and as a world,” Trump said of the economic fallout from the virus.
— GOP (@GOP) March 12, 2020
“No nation is more prepared or more resilient than the United States,” added at the end of his remarks. “We must put politics aside, stop the partisanship, and unify as one nation and one family.”
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) March 12, 2020
The White House clarified the president’s comments about the travel ban in a tweet posted just before midnight.
“The travel restriction applies to foreign nationals who have been in 26 European countries with open borders agreements, in the last 14 days,” the White House said. “Those exempt from these restrictions, such as U.S. citizens, will be directed to limited airports where screening can take place.”
The travel restriction applies to foreign nationals who have been in 26 European countries with open borders agreements, in the last 14 days.
Those exempt from these restrictions, such as U.S. citizens, will be directed to limited airports where screening can take place.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) March 12, 2020
During an appearance on Fox News, Vice President Pence also clarified the travel ban.
He confirmed it would not—in any way—prevent Americans from traveling back into the U.S. Pence then shared what new guidelines travelers can be expected to follow, should they decide to travel internationally.
On Fox News, @VP clarifies the new travel restrictions: "Every American who returns from Europe will be screened through 13 separate airport and will be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days." There is "no barrier to any American coming home."
— Sara Cook (@saraecook) March 12, 2020
Watch Trump’s full White House address below: