Coronavirus Update: Trump Limits Travel From Europe For Next 30 Days — ‘We’re All In This Together’

Speaking to the American people from the Oval Office on Wednesday evening, President Donald Trump shifted his tone in significant ways from recent weeks to address the seriousness of the spread of coronavirus across the nation.

The White House/Flickr

Trump stated that his administration would be taking action to address the spread of the disease, and request authorization from Congress to take on other economic aspects.

“This is the most aggressive and comprehensive effort to confront a virus in modern history,” Trump said.

Trump’s speech described actions from his administration taken early on has so far reduced the high number of coronavirus cases seen in the United States, and suggested that European governments, in failing to take similar actions, was somewhat responsible for the spread of the disease in their nations. He further announced that, starting this Friday, all travel coming from Europe would be suspended for 30 days.

There were exceptions. Americans already in Europe seeking to come home would be allowed to do so, pending certain health screenings. The suspension also would not apply to the United Kingdom, Trump said.

The president said he had worked with private health insurers to ensure that all copayments for coronavirus treatments and testing would be waived, and that he was “cutting red tape to make antiviral therapies available in record time.”

Trump touted the economic strength of the United States as helpful in the fight against the spread of coronavirus. It “gives us flexibility…to handle any threat that comes our way,” he said.

He also requested a payroll tax holiday from Congress — something that he pushed for at the beginning of this week to combat the economic impacts of the disease. It’s a plan, however, that many members of Congress, including from his own Republican Party, have been resistant to endorsing.

Throughout the United States’ response to coronavirus, Trump has downplayed in many ways the seriousness of the disease, and even suggested two weeks prior to his speech on Wednesday night that the total number of cases in the country would be down to zero within a matter of days.

Trump was more realistic, however, about the gravity of the situation, encouraging Americans to practice good hygiene, and telling older citizens to limit their unnecessary travels outside the home as much as possible.

“I will never hesitate to take any necessary steps to” help American people, Trump added toward the end of his statement on Wednesday. “The virus will not have a chance against us.”

Trump also called for bipartisanship to address the global pandemic.

“We are all in this together. We must put politics aside, stop the partisanship, and unify together as one nation and one family,” he said.

Featured image credit: The White House/Flickr

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