President Donald Trump addressed the nation on Wednesday night on the coronavirus pandemic and announced that all travel to and from Europe will be suspended for 30 days.
Trump said the “strong but necessary” restrictions will take place on Friday, and will not affect the United Kingdom.
President @realDonaldTrump just addressed the nation from the Oval Office.
“We are marshaling the full power of the federal government and the private sector to protect the American people.” pic.twitter.com/2YuF31enLo
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) March 12, 2020
The administration has already suspended travel to and from China and Iran, where the coronavirus outbreak was rapidly multiplying since the first case was identified in Wuhan, China on Dec. 31, 2019.
“We made a lifesaving move with early action on China,” Trump said. “Now we must take the same action with Europe.”
Trump also said he is directing federal agencies to provide financial relief to businesses affected by coronavirus, including emergency loans and deferred tax payments. Similarly, individuals affected by the virus will also be eligible for financial relief.
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared coronavirus a global pandemic on Wednesday as the virus has spread rapidly outside its origin of China.
“WHO has been assessing this outbreak around the clock and we are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “We have therefore made the assessment that COVID19 can be characterized as a pandemic.”
According to John Hopkins’ latest tracking data on Wednesday afternoon, there are now 126,584 confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide, of which 66,239 have recovered, and 4,373 have died.
In the U.S. alone, there are 1,050 confirmed cases of coronavirus, and 32 Americans have died.