So you’ve just read yet another travel ban by Donald Trump and think, Is that even newsworthy?
Well, this time, it’s different. This move looks to be so serious that if every country were to implement this ban as well, the coronavirus isn’t going to just kill people, but economies as well.
Here’s what you need to know about this ban, though before that, you need to know some numbers.
Spike of Cases in Europe
Lest you’ve been living under a rock, you’d know that China has finally managed to contain the coronavirus. As of today (12 March 2020), the number of new cases in the entire country is only 15—that’s a drop from thousands of new infections daily last month.
But unfortunately, that nasty bug is now spreading rapidly elsewhere—especially in Europe.
As of time of writing, outside of China and a cruise ship, 6 of the top 10 countries with the most number of COVID-19 infections are in Europe.
They are Italy with 12,462 cases, France with 2,281 cases, Spain with 2,277 cases, Germany with 1,966 cases, Switzerland with 652 cases and Norway with 629 cases.
You can argue that these countries have more confirmed cases because they’ve better detection methods and are being more transparent, but that’s a problem that doesn’t have a quick fix, yet.
Over in the US, there are now 1,198 confirmed cases, with the influx of infections coming in this month.
Donald Trump has created a task force to handle this crisis, and is putting his deputy, Vice-President Mike Pence, to head the force.
They’ve been transparent with the cases and results, and have been holding regularly press conferences to update the world about the cases in the country, which you can actually watch in the White House YouTube channel.
And today, Trump himself came out to make an announcement that’ll have serious repercussions.
Trump Address the Nation
If you’ve subscribed to the White House YouTube channel and watched its videos regularly, you’d know that Trump is very proud that he has imposed a travel ban for people who have been in China early in the outbreak, and repeatedly mentioned that the decision has kept the US safe.
Well, until early March, that is.
And today, Trump addressed the nation, which you can watch here:
He mentioned that because Europe didn’t do what the US has done, it’s led to many new cases in the region, and the “United States were seeded by travellers from Europe.”
Reader Bao: Did he just blame Europe and praise himself?
Mr Bao, this must be the first time you’ve watched him talking. But moving on, he said, “we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days. The new rules will go into effect Friday at midnight.”
In other words, a travel ban from Europe to the US.
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Is it drastic? Yes, it is. Even he mentioned that it’s a bigly issue, saying, “This is the most aggressive and comprehensive effort to confront a foreign virus in modern history.”
As you probably know, a simple travel restriction would have led to serious repercussions; but a travel ban on 40 countries in such short notice? That’s going to be chaos.
Reader Bao: But there are 44 countries in Europe
Right, because the travel ban doesn’t include the United Kingdom, which comprises England, Scotland, and Wales and Northern Ireland.
And one of the key reasons why this would have serious repercussions is that the prohibitions would also “apply to the tremendous amount of trade and cargo”, and “various other things as we get approval.”
This will have even more serious repercussions, but I’ll use a simple example to illustrate this point.
Imagine your phone’s made in the US, and cargoes carrying chips to make your phone can’t enter the country. Your pre-order of your phone might be delayed.
Trump added, “This is not a financial crisis. This is just a temporary moment of time that we will overcome together as a nation.”
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