In an unprecedented move to stem the tide of the deadly coronavirus, President Trump has imposed a ban on all travel from Europe to the US.
During an address from the White House Wednesday evening, Trump announced a suspension of all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
In a rare address from the Oval Office, Trump said the European Union had “failed to take the same precautions” as the U.S. has implemented to contain the coronavirus outbreak. However, the president said that he was satisfied with Britain’s efforts and that The United Kingdom will not be included in the travel ban with the continent.
Because of Europe’s inaction, Trump said, “a number of new clusters in the United States were seeded by travelers from Europe.”
“I have decided to take several strong but necessary actions,” Trump said.
Trump also said he would “soon be taking an emergency action” to provide a financial cushion to small businesses and individuals hit by the coronavirus. He mentioned several proposals he had previously floated, including a payroll tax cut, deferred tax payments and loans for businesses hit hard by the coronavirus. The president is currently negotiating with Congress over some of those measures, while others could potentially be addressed through executive action.
Trump teased the address during a meeting with Wall Street executives at the White House, telling reporters that his administration had been discussing “various forms” of economic stimulus to counteract the effects of the outbreak.
Wednesday’s remarks were only the second time Trump addressed the nation from the Oval Office, a setting typically reserved for special circumstances. The address came just a day after U.S. coronavirus infections topped 1,000, with Trump’s top health officials warning that the domestic outbreak would only get worse.
“We have got to assume it is going to get worse and worse and worse,” said Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the Trump administration’s coronavirus task force, at a congressional hearing earlier Wednesday.
Meanwhile, after a player on the Utah Jazz tested positive for the virus, the NBA has announced that it has suspended the rest of the 2020 season “indefinitly.” The announcement came as the Oklahoma City Thunder were all set to host the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night, and just seconds before the tip, the game was dramatically postponed without reason while players were sent to the locker room at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
This announcement comes as previously in the day, the NCAA said that the legendary “March Madness” College basketball tournament would be to empty stadiums with fans.
Before concluding his address from the oval office, the president also reiterated the CDC’s guidelines to Americans to protect themselves and others from the spread of the virus.
“Wash your hands, clean often-used surfaces, cover your face and mouth if you sneeze or cough. Most of all, if you’re sick or not feeling well, stay home,” Trump said.
He also emphasized making the effort to specifically protect older Americans by avoiding non-essential travel in crowded areas and avoiding all medically unnecessary trips to nursing homes.