Vice President Mike Pence said on Thursday morning that Americans returning to the US from Europe would be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days
Vice President Mike Pence fueled the coronavirus chaos on Thursday by saying all Americans returning from coronavirus ‘epicenter’ Europe will be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival and be funneled through one of 13 airports, without confirming if they would receive COVID-19 tests or saying where those ports were.
In a series of interviews to follow on from the President’s stunning Wednesday night announcement that ‘all travel’ from Europe to the US would be stopped for 30 days, Pence sought to clear up the many questions it inspired.
He revealed several things including that American citizens and permanent residents – who are allowed to come home even after the ban goes into effect at midnight on Friday – will be asked to voluntarily quarantine for 14 days, whether they have coronavirus symptoms or not, once they land.
He also repeated previous claims that the government had asked private labs including Lab Corp and Quest Diagnostics to speed up the production of their tests, after a wave of criticism over how long the CDC was taking to get theirs off the ground.
But he failed to address some key specifics including how or if the ban will impact trade and imports from Europe, or how many people will likely become infected in America despite the drastic new measures.
World health officials have already undermined Trump’s plan. They say it will not stop the virus from spreading and that the administration should be focusing its efforts on the healthcare system, which will likely buckle under the strain of the pandemic if it reaches the proportions seen in China and Italy.
Pence’s revelation that Americans coming back from Europe would be funneled through one of 13 airports came during his appearance on Fox and Friends.
He had already appeared on Good Morning America, Today and CNN by the time he spoke, but had failed to answer many of the resounding questions which surround yesterday’s announcement.
‘Every American that is returning from Europe will be screened as they return through 13 separate airports and will be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days. It’s a part of the president’s strategy,’ he said.
Asked specifically about families with kids overseas, he went on: ‘I’ve had kids that have studied abroad as well.
‘Every one of those families should know that their children can come home. They will be — they will be funneled, as we say, through a series of 13 different airports.
‘And then we’ll ask them to self-quarantine regardless of their symptoms or what their condition,’ he said.
In an earlier appearance on Good Morning America, he said there had been some ‘irresponsible rhetoric’ around the topic but insisted Trump was taking it seriously.
‘The American people should know that President Trump has no higher priority than the health and safety and well being of the people of this country,’ he said.
‘We have all have known from the beginning that the coronavirus would continue to spread across this country, it’s one of the reasons president trump took decisive action to put the health of the American people first not only declaring a public health emergency in January but that same month, suspending all travel from China and quarantining everyone returning from the region.
‘Since then, we’ve issued travel advisories to Italy, South Korea… but frankly as we watched the epicenter of the coronavirus shift from China and South Korea to Europe, the president thought it was proper for us to impose a 30 day suspension on all travel from continental Europe,’ he said.
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The number of coronavirus cases in the US have soared in the last 10 days and are continuing to rise
Graphs chart the spread of the virus in the US, Europe and the world since November last year when the first cases were reported in China
Trump’s plan also includes;
- Tax deferments without interest or penalties for businesses and individuals affected by the coronavirus;
- A demand for $50billion in low-interest loans to small businesses to help them overcome the crisis;
- A call for Congress to enact ‘immediate payroll tax relief’;
- Financial ‘relief’ for workers who are ill, quarantined or caring for others.
Many have asked what stopping travel from Europe will do to help the problem because the virus is already on US soil and spreading fast.
WHO Dr. Margaret Harris has already said the plan will not work.
‘We are not keen on travel bans generally because it makes the country concerned focus on managing their borders rather than focusing on what we’d like to see.
‘[We need to] focus on the spread within the community and stopping the spread within the community and really supporting the health system to be able to look after the people that are and do get severely ill,’ she said during an appearance on Good Morning Britain on Thursday.
The move also drew immediate criticism from senior Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer who urged Trump to back their move to offer free testing kits, and to focus on fighting the spread of the virus within the US.
‘We have a public health crisis in this country and the best way to help keep the American people stay safe and ensure their economic security is for the president to focus on fighting the spread of the coronavirus itself,’ they said in a joint statement.
The Association of Flight Attendants was also quick to criticize Trump, branding his travel ban ‘irresponsible’ and saying it is ‘about politics, not public safety’.
‘There is no explanation for how this will help fight the spread of the virus,’ a statement said. ‘It makes little sense when the virus is already in the United States.
Oval Office address: Donald Trump finally addressed the nation about the coronavirus crisis from the White House on Wednesday and banned all travel to Europe
‘The President expressly stated the United Kingdom is not included in the travel ban and yet the UK health minister herself has the virus.’
But Pence said that stopping the flow of people from Europe, combined with boosting efforts on the ground here to contain the virus, would set the country on the right path.
COUNTRIES WHOSE PEOPLE ARE BANNED
WHO THE BAN APPLIES TO
Most foreign nationals who have been in these countries at any point during the 14 days prior to their scheduled arrival to the United States*
AND WHO IT DOESN’T
‘Legal permanent residents, (generally) immediate family members of U.S. citizens, and other individuals who are identified in the proclamation.’*
* according to Department of Homeland Security
‘The reality is just two weeks ago in Italy there were less than 500 now there’s 12,000.
‘We have tens of thousands of people who travel to the US from Europe every day.
‘Seventy percent new cases were in Europe. When we looked yesterday, 30 of the 35 states could be traced to contact to Europe.
‘We want to stop the flow of people bringing the coronavirus here but also surge resources in California, Washington and New York where we’ve seen the spread – it’s a combination of efforts.
‘The president showed again yesterday a willingness to take decisive action,’ he said.
In a different interview, on Today, he resisted criticism of how slow the US had been in ramping up its testing and claimed the delay was because standards here for FDA-approved tests are higher than overseas.
‘From early on in this effort we’ve been addressing the testing issue.
‘We made changes through the FDA that allowed for state labs and university hospitals and hospitals to engage in testing and I’m pleased to report every state lab in America can do testing now.
‘Many university laboratories are doing it. Washington State, the University of Washington is doing extraordinary work.
‘But we are literally working hour by hour do expand the testing and we think the key, is going to be what we call commercial laboratories like Lab Corp and Quest, who are already spinning up production at the president’s direction last week on tests that can be available on a broad basis in the days ahead for the American people.
There was a mad dash for tickets back to the US from Europe on Thursday morning. Above, a line at the Delta desk in Charles de Gaulle airport
A line of people at the Air France ticket desk at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris on Thursday
Paris Charles de Gaulle airport, France: People wearing protective face masks line up at the Air France ticketing desk inside Terminal 2E at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport in Roissy on Thursday
‘We’re making real progress, but rest assured we’re going to continue to drive forward. But anyone that feels that they may have contracted the coronavirus should call their doctor.
‘Their doctor can contact the state lab and determine where testing can take place today in all 50 states,’ he said.
Pence finally conceded that the virus was far deadlier than the flu for vulnerable people, which contradicts the president’s old advice for people not to panic because thousands end up in the hospital every year with influenza.
‘According to all of our health experts on the White House coronavirus task force, it does not, as we look at global data, present as much a threat to younger Americans, particularly children under the age of 15.
‘But for senior citizens with serious underlying health conditions, it represents a threat of very serious consequences.
‘It’s one of the reasons why the president took the unprecedented step yesterday of suspending all travel from Europe, just as he has done so in January with China, and we’re going to be screening and asking every American who returns from Europe over the next 30 days to self-quarantine for 14 days.
‘We want to focus on those that are most vulnerable but we also want to work on ensuring that the coronavirus is not further brought into our country from Europe.
‘And we’re obviously continuing to focus in areas of California, Washington state and New York where we’ve seen what the experts call community spread,’ he said.
Pence resisted giving a specific number when asked how many Americans would become infected.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House’s expert on coronavirus, has warned that it will infect millions of people.
‘I’ll leave it to the experts to make the estimates of how many people may be infected,’ he said.
In his address on Wednesday night, Trump did not announce any ban on public gatherings, or declare any travel restrictions within the U.S., although he did urge older Americans to avoid crowded places if possible.
He also caused confusion after appearing to announce that trade from Europe was also banned, only to clarify later on Twitter that ‘the restriction stops people not goods’.
Trump urged elderly Americans to take great caution, urged cutting off visitors to nursing homes, and told Americans to wash their hands diligently.
‘The virus will not have a chance against us – no nation is more prepared or more resilient than the United States,’ he said.
NBA SUSPENDS ITS SEASON OVER CORONAVIRUS FEARS AS MAJOR WORLD EVENTS ARE CANCELED
The NBA suspended its season indefinitely on Wednesday night in light of the president’s announcement, postponing all games and setting a match to millions of dollars in deals, ad revenue and ticket sales.
The decision – the first of its kind – came after the president’s address amid the revelation that Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert had tested positive for the virus.
NBA postponed all games ‘until further notice’ and will use hiatus to determine’ next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic’
Mass gatherings have not yet been banned in the US but in Europe, football games have all been scrapped until further notice.
In Italy, group gatherings like weddings and funerals are not allowed and even stores are closing to try to contain the virus.
In its announcement, the NBA said: ‘The NBA is suspending game play following the conclusion of tonight’s schedule of games until further notice.
‘The NBA will use this hiatus to determine the next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.’
In addition to Gobert and his Jazz teammates, five other NBA teams are currently being quarantined, sources told ESPN’s Briand Windhorst. Those teams include the
Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons and the Toronto Raptors — all of which have played Utah in the last 10 days.
The NBA postponed the season Wednesday night, shortly after the Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Utah Jazz game was called off. Pictured, fans leave before tip off at Chesapeake Energy Arena
He explained the new measure as a matter of protecting the nation from the rapidly spreading virus – which he called ‘foreign.’
‘This is the most aggressive and comprehensive effort to confront a foreign virus in modern history,’ he said. ’I will always put the well-being of America first.
‘We are mobilizing the full power of the federal government and private sector to protect the American people,’ he said.
Hours earlier, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, testified that the coronavirus was ten times more deadly than the flu – a disease Trump has previously tweeted about while urging calm and saying the nation would prevail.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), who chairs the House oversight committee, told a panel of expert witnesses during a hearing on the disease: ‘This morning we were informed that President Trump and Vice President Pence have called our witnesses to an emergency meeting at the White House. We don’t know the details, just that it is extremely urgent.’
She later cited reports that the gather was not an emergency meeting, adding: ‘However that’s not what your staff just told us.’
Fauci issued dire warnings at the House committee hearing.
‘Bottom line, it’s going to get worse,’ Fauci, the director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said. He warned millions will be affected.
‘If we are complacent and don’t do really aggressive containment and mitigation, the number could go way up and be involved in many, many millions. If we contain we could flatten it,’ he noted, pushing back when asked to pin down how many might be infected.
He also recommended large sporting events be banned.
He said that the WHO estimated it to be lethal in 3.4% of recorded cases so far, a figure he expects to drop to 1% – ‘which means it’s 10 times more lethal than the seasonal flu.’
‘We would recommend that there not be large crowds. If that means not having any people in the audience as the N.B.A. plays, so be it,’ he said.
Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee prohibited gatherings of over 250 people in counties around Seattle, in just the latest move to restrict interactions to contain ‘community spread.’ Basketball games, classes, and festivals were being cancelled and postponed. The NCAA announced that division one college games would be played in arenas without crowd during the famed ‘March Madness’ tournament.
The NBA’s Golden State Warriors announced the team will play its next home game without fans, in a part of the country where the Diamond Princess was moored offshore after an outbreak.
Additional new government actions were not immediately clear. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar was to ’take all appropriate and necessary steps’ so health care workers could get respirators needed when treating coronavirus patients. Shortages are a concern, as is the manufacture of many face masks for industrial rather than medical use.
The administration continues to assemble possible tax ideas to address the market drop and economic impacts.
House Democrats are readying legislative action on their own ideas.
Trump’s travel ban will do NOTHING to stop coronavirus spreading person-to-person in the US and could make it worse by giving people a false sense of security, top WHO doctor warns
Dr. Margaret Harris, with the World Health Organisation, said that while travel bans are useful in the early stages of an outbreak, they are of little use when the disease starts spreading freely within communities – as it has in the US.
Rather than focus efforts on closing borders, she urged countries including the US to stop the spread within their own borders by rapidly testing people for the virus and ensuring they get appropriate treatment.
Meanwhile the EU Commission said it ‘disapproved’ of Trump’s decision, which was taken without consultation leading to confusion over how it would be implemented.
European leaders stressed that cooperation rather than unilateral action is needed to combat a global pandemic.
The UK, which was given an exemption from the ban alongside Ireland, said that there is little evidence to support the theory that travel bans are effective against pandemics.
EU Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen insisted that the coronavirus pandemic is a ‘global crisis, not limited to any continent and it requires cooperation rather than unilateral action.’
‘The European Union disapproves of the fact that the U.S. decision to improve a travel ban was taken unilaterally and without consultation,’ they said.
Given Italy’s nationwide travel lockdown and other measures taken by all the bloc’s 27 members, Von der Leyen and Michel dismissed Trump’s suggestion that the EU has not done enough in fighting the disease.
They say the EU ‘is taking strong action to limit the spread of the virus.’
Their sentiment was echoed by Dr Harris, who said the WHO disapproves of travel bans because it causes countries to focus their efforts on the wrong things.
‘[The focus should be on] stopping the spread within the community and really supporting the health system to be able to look after the people that are and do get severely ill,’ she said.
‘Early on… when you’ve got a big outbreak in one place and you’ve got no transfer within your community [a travel ban] can make a difference, but it’s something you need to keep on reassessing.
‘[Now] it gives a false sense of security because you think ‘ah yes, we’re doing something’ but if [the virus] is already in your community your focus needs to be on stopping it there.
‘Just because people are from a particular country doesn’t mean they may have it, your own nationals who have been visiting that country are just as likely to have it.’
Stock trading is HALTED after Dow opened down 1,700 points and S&P 500 plunged into bear territory as panic builds over Trump’s travel ban on Europe to contain coronavirus
U.S. stock indexes opened sharply down on Thursday after President Donald Trump imposed a travel ban on most of Europe but offered little in the way of new measures to contain the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
Trading on Wall Street halted just five minutes into the session on Thursday, after a 7 percent decline in the main indexes triggered an automatic ‘circuit breaker’ 15-minute pause on all trades.
The Dow opened down nearly 1,700 points after ending its historic 11-year bull run on Wednesday and plunging into bear market territory, defined as a 20 percent drop from recent highs.
On Thursday morning, the S&P 500, which professional investors watch more closely, and the Nasdaq Composite also opened deep in bear territory.
The recent decline has been one of Wall Street’s swiftest retreats of this magnitude. The fastest the S&P 500 has ever fallen from a record into a bear market was over 55 days in 1987.
On Wednesday night, global markets plunged again after Trump’s address to the nation, in which he announced vast travel restrictions on Europe that aim to limit the virus from spreading but will further hurt the travel industry.
A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday. Trading on Wall Street automatically halted just five minutes into the session on Thursday, after a 7% decline
His move also raises the specter of more drastic containment measures that could hurt business from international trade down to local businesses.
Trump hinted at plans for tax cuts and other economic relief, but has yet to unveil details. Lawmakers have so far resisted his proposal for a payroll tax holiday, a measure that would be popular with markets.
‘The market judgement on that announcement is that it´s too little too late. And while travel restrictions on people coming from Europe are good from a health point of view, from the point of view of the economy, it´s very, very bad news,’ said Michael McCarthy of CMC Markets.
Vicious market swings are becoming routine as investors rush to sell amid uncertainty about how badly the outbreak will hit the economy.
Some economies were already slowing before the viral outbreak even began to cause massive disruptions, first in central China where the virus originated and gradually across Asia.
Investors would like to see coordinated action from governments and central banks to stem the threat to the economy from the virus. Lower interest rates and government spending won’t solve the crisis – only containment of the virus can – but they can spur business activity and help prop up demand.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.
The vast majority of people recover from the new virus, but the fear is that the global economy could tip into a recession, with slowdowns in production and a plunge in business activity as people stay home instead of traveling, shopping or dining out.
Many analysts expect markets to swing sharply until the number of new infections stops accelerating. In the United States, the number of cases has topped 1,000. Worldwide, more than 126,000 people have been infected, and over 4,600 have died.
Read the full text of Donald Trump’s address to the nation on the coronavirus crisis
Today, the World Health Organization officially announced that this is a global pandemic.
We have been in frequent contact with our allies, and we are marshalling the full power of the federal government and the private sector to protect the American people.
This is the most aggressive and comprehensive effort to confront a foreign virus in modern history.
I am confident that by counting and continuing to take these tough measures, we will significantly reduce the threat to our citizens, and we will ultimately and expeditiously defeat this virus.
From the beginning of time, nations and people have faced unforeseen challenges, including large-scale and very dangerous health threats.
This is the way it always was and always will be. It only matters how you respond, and we are responding with great speed and professionalism.
Our team is the best anywhere in the world.
At the very start of the outbreak, we instituted sweeping travel restrictions on China and put in place the first federally mandated quarantine in over 50 years.
We declared a public health emergency and issued the highest level of travel warning on other countries as the virus spread its horrible infection.
And taking early intense action, we have seen dramatically fewer cases of the virus in the United States than are now present in Europe.
The European Union failed to take the same precautions and restrict travel from China and other hotspots.
As a result, a large number of new clusters in the United States were seeded by travelers from Europe.
After consulting with our top government health professionals, I have decided to take several strong but necessary actions to protect the health and wellbeing of all Americans.
To keep new cases from entering our shores, we will be suspending al
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Pence says Americans returning from coronavirus 'epicenter' Europe will be 'funneled' through THIRTEEN airports before 14-day self-quarantine - but doesn't give specifics as experts warn Trump's travel ban won't stop virus spread have 4756 words, post on www.dailymail.co.uk at March 12, 2020. This is cached page on Health Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.