President Trump said he would be suspending all travel from Europe for the next 30 days starting Friday. The restrictions will not apply to Britain.
President Trump said he was taking ‘strong but necessary’ action.
President Trump announced on Wednesday night that he was taking “strong but necessary” actions to keep new cases of the coronavirus from entering the United States by suspending all travel from Europe for 30 days, beginning on Friday. The restrictions do not apply to Britain, he said.
Speaking from the Oval Office, Mr. Trump called the coronavirus a “horrible infection” and said he was addressing the nation to talk about the “unprecedented response to the coronavirus outbreak.”
The president also said health insurance companies had agreed to extend insurance coverage to cover coronavirus treatments as well as waive related co-payments.
Mr. Trump added that he planned to soon announce emergency action to provide financial relief for workers who fall ill or need to be quarantined. He said he would ask Congress to take legislative action to extend that relief but did not detail what that would be. He said he would instruct the Treasury Department to “defer tax payments without interest or penalties for certain individuals and businesses negatively impacted.”
The president, sitting behind the Resolute Desk with his arms crossed, finally appeared to be acknowledging the severity of the virus, calling it a “horrible infection” and acknowledging that Americans should cut back on travel that was not necessary.
It signaled a break from the business-as-usual attitude he had been trying to project as recently as Tuesday, when he urged Americans to “stay calm” and said the virus would soon go away. But Mr. Trump continued to anticipate a fast end date to the spread of the coronavirus, even as medical experts have warned that the pandemic will worsen. “This is not a financial crisis,” he said. “This is just a temporary moment in time that we will overcome as a nation and a world.”
The address capped a day when concerns about the threat of the virus seemed to reach a new pitch and measures to protect vulnerable populations began to upend regular life across the country. Many schools announced they would close indefinitely, some nursing homes banned visitors, and workplaces across the country urged their employees to work from home.
Mr. Trump has long resisted the formality of an Oval Office address and had used the setting only once before during his presidency, when he tried to pressure Congress last year to pay for his long-sought wall along the southwestern border during the partial government shutdown.PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESSRead our full article about President Trump’s decision to suspend travel from Europe.