In his address to the nation on Wednesday, President Trump announced that in an effort to stop new coronavirus cases from entering the United States, all travel from Europe to the United States would be suspended for 30 days, beginning Friday at midnight. The president added that the restrictions would not affect travel from the United Kingdom.
“These prohibitions will not only apply to the tremendous amount of trade and cargo, but to various other things as we get approval,” Trump said. “Anything coming from Europe to the United States is what we are discussing.” Except that was not what the administration was discussing: White House officials later had to clarify that Trump bungled the speech, which he read from a teleprompter, and that only travel, not cargo, would be suspended.
Critics stated that the efficacy of a travel ban is extremely limited now that multiple cases of community outbreak have been reported. Prior to Trump’s speech on Wednesday, the World Health Organization designated the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic.
The president also announced he would be awarding the Small Business Administration with $50 billion to “provide capital and liquidity to provide loans to small businesses,” but did not address the country’s failure to properly test for coronavirus. “No nation is more prepared or resilient than the United States,” Trump said. Despite his solemn tone during the speech, Trump’s low level of concern returned shortly after he thought cameras stopped broadcasting:
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