Trump made the announcement that he is suspending all travel from Europe to the U.S. for 30 days beginning at 11:59 p.m. Friday during a rare Oval Office address to the nation.
He blamed the European Union for not acting quickly enough to address the novel coronavirus, but vowed that his nation would prevail in countering the virus and getting treatment to the market.
“We have seen dramatically fewer cases of the virus in the United States than are now present in Europe,” he said.
“The European Union failed to take the same precautions and restrict travel from China and other hot spots. As a result, a large number of new clusters in the United States were seeded by travellers from Europe.”
The travel restrictions, however, will not apply for people coming from the UK or Ireland.
It will affect 26 countries, including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
Mr Trump continued: “We are at a critical time in the fight against the virus.
“We made a life-saving move with early action on China. Now we must take the same action with Europe. We will not delay.
“I will never hesitate to take any necessary steps to protect the lives, health and safety of the American people. I will always put the well-being of America first.
“We must put politics aside, stop the partisanship, and unify together as one nation and one family.
“Acting with compassion and love, we will heal the sick, care for those in need, help our fellow citizens, and emerge from this challenge stronger and more unified than ever before.”
The ban will not apply to US citizens, their ‘immediate’ family members or legal permanent resident.
“The virus will not have a chance against us – no nation is more prepared or more resilient than the United States,” he continued.
“This is the most aggressive and comprehensive effort to confront a foreign virus in modern history.”
“I will always put the well-being of America first.”
The epicenter of the disease in Europe is in Italy, where the government ordered the shutdown of virtually the entire economy.
In the US there are over 1,300 cases of coronavirus and 38 deaths as of Thursday morning.
Some 366 of those cases and 29 deaths were reported in Washington state.
Images via Getty
Charismatic, witty, charming, engaging - four things Joshua Rogers will never be. Thankfully, he’s a semi-competent editor, who, after graduating university with two mostly pointless degrees, joined The Hook two years ago. He subsequently honed his writing skills over several features and investigative pieces, arguably letting The Hook audience in on way too much of his personal life.