WASHINGTON (WLNS) – UPDATE (9:09 p.m.): President Donald Trump was “confident” that the US will reduce the ongoing threat of the coronavirus tonight in an address to the nation from the Oval Office.
“We have been in frequent contact with our allies and we are marshaling the full power of the federal government and the private sector to protect the American people,” Trump said.
Trump added, “I’m confident that by counting and continuing to take these tough measures we will significantly reduce the threat to our citizens and we’ll 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.”
President Trump announced that all travel from Europe to the United States will be suspended for the next 30 days, except for the UK.
Trump made the decision in order to “keep new cases from entering our shores.”
“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. These restrictions will are be adjusted subject to conditions on the ground,” the President said from the Oval Office.
Trump said there will be certain exemptions made for certain Americans “who have undergone appropriate screenings.”
“These prohibitions will not only apply to the tremendous amount of trade and cargo, but various other things as we get approval. Anything coming from Europe to the United States is what we are discussing. These restrictions will also not apply to the United Kingdom,” Trump added.
ORIGINAL STORY: President Trump is making a statement to the country about the response to coronavirus.
“I am fully prepared to use the full power of the Federal Government to deal with our current challenge of the CoronaVirus!” the president tweeted earlier on Wednesday.
According to CBS News, Mr. Trump told reporters in a meeting with major bank executives earlier in the day that his “number one priority is the health of the country.” He mentioned the economic uncertainty caused by the outbreak, too, saying, “the numbers from a week ago were great,” but now, “we’re going to have to do something.”
Stocks have been plummeting over fears of the spread of the virus, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed with a loss of more than 1,400 points on Wednesday afternoon. The World Health Organization also declared Wednesday that the outbreak spreading around the globe can now be characterized as a pandemic.
The Trump administration is trying to reassure Americans that the risk to the average American of infection remains low, as cities move to restrict large gatherings, and more schools and universities announce closings.
However, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told Congress in a hearing Wednesday morning that the U.S. can expect to see many more cases in the coming weeks.
“I can say we will see more cases and things will get worse than they are right now,” Fauci said. Fauci also said that the coronavirus is “ten times more lethal than the seasonal flu.”