To fight Coronavirus, Trump suspends all travel with Europe

In a nationwide address from the Oval Office on Wednesday night, President Donald Trump took the unprecedented step of closing off all travel between the United States and Europe in a bid to stop the further spread of the Coronavirus.

"To keep new cases from entering our shores, we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next thirty days," the President said.

"The new rules will go into effect Friday at midnight," Mr. Trump added, as he said the United Kingdom would be exempted, even though there have been hundreds of cases of the virus in that nation.

"This is the most aggressive and comprehensive effort to confront a foreign virus in modern history," the President told the nation.

Earlier in the day, the head of the Centers for Disease Control told Congress that Europe had surpassed China as a hotbed for the virus.

"Europe is the new China," said CDC chief Robert Redfield.

"New travel restrictions for Europe much needed and the right call," said Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO).

The White House was forced to quickly walk back one part of the President's remarks, where he said the new travel restrictions would cover all “trade and cargo” as well.

While Mr. Trump had downplayed the need for him to cancel campaign events or official travel, the White House said after his speech that a scheduled trip on Thursday and Friday would be canceled.

"Out of an abundance of caution from the Coronavirus outbreak, the President has decided to cancel his upcoming events in Colorado and Nevada," the White House told reporters.

Those events included a GOP fundraiser on Thursday evening in Las Vegas.

The President also downplayed the idea that big swings on the stock markets were a major concern.

“This is not a financial crisis. This is just a temporary moment of time,” Mr. Trump said.

Democrats quickly noted that the President made no mention in his remarks of any specific actions to address the virus here in the United States, or deal with complaints about troubles people have had in getting tests for the virus.

“Alarmingly, the President did not say how the administration will address the lack of coronavirus testing kits throughout the United States,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer in a joint statement.

“Travel bans and xenophobia are not the answer. Testing and emergency care is,” said Rep. Val Demings (D-FL).

“Where is the plan to protect the American people? Where are the tests?” Demings added.

As for what Americans should do, the President urged people to 'practice good hygiene' - and stay home from work if they are sick.

He also urged the elderly to be cautious as well.

"In general, older Americans should also avoid non-essential travel and crowded areas," the President said.

But while Mr. Trump took steps to stop new people from bringing the virus to the U.S., there was little on the health front to address the issue of how to keep from spreading right now.

As for domestic policy matters, the President urged Congress to approve a payroll tax holiday to put more money in the pockets of working Americans.

The idea has historically drawn opposition from Republicans, who voted against it when proposed by President Barack Obama, as part of his stimulus efforts after the Wall Street Collapse of 2008.

In his speech, the President again emphasized that the overall risk to Americans from the Coronavirus is 'very, very low.'

"Young and healthy people can expect to recover fully and quickly if they should get the virus," Mr. Trump added.

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