People Have Traveled From China To Us Since Coronavirus Surfaced
There were 1,300 direct flights to 17 cities before President Trumps travel restrictions. Since then, nearly 40,000 Americans and other authorized travelers have made the trip, some this past week and many with spotty screening.
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Since Chinese officials disclosed the outbreak of a mysterious pneumonialike illness to international health officials on New Years Eve, at least 430,000 people have arrived in the United States on direct flights from China, including nearly 40,000 in the two months after President Trump imposed restrictions on such travel, according to an analysis of data collected in both countries.
The bulk of the passengers, who were of multiple nationalities, arrived in January, at airports in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Seattle, Newark and Detroit. Thousands of them flew directly from Wuhan, the center of the coronavirus outbreak, as American public health officials were only beginning to assess the risks to the United States.
In interviews, multiple travelers who arrived after the screening was expanded said they received only passing scrutiny, with minimal follow-up.
At a news conference about the restrictions, Alex M. Azar II, the health secretary, repeatedly emphasized that the risk is low for Americans. He added, Our job is to work to keep that that way.
Which European Countries Are Affected By The Us Travel Ban
In all, travel is suspended for 30 days from 26 Schengen countries – 22 European Union members and four non-EU.
They are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
Mr Trump said the UK’s exemption had been made on the advice of “a group of professionals” but could be reviewed because the number of cases had “gone up fairly precipitously over the last 24 hours”.
The US travel ban was met with anger and confusion, with EU leaders accusing President Trump of making the decision “without consultation”.
How Badly Has The Us Been Hit
Concern over the outbreak rose after a number of new cases were confirmed in the US earlier this month.
Containment efforts have begun in earnest. Troops have been deployed to New Rochelle, just north of New York City, where one outbreak is believed to have originated.
The National Guard will deliver food to some individuals who have been told to self-isolate there.
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No Travel From China Has Been Restricted But Even Today There Is No Universal Travel Ban
Editors note: We published this fact check in April, in response to an earlier claim by Vice President Mike Pence about travel from China. He reiterated the claim during his vice presidential debate with Kamala Harris on October 7. It should be noted that the United States began allowing more flights from China as of June.
In an interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence made a now-familiar claim that President Trump has shut down travel from China.
“We’ve been from the very beginning, when the President suspended all travel from China and stood up the White House coronavirus task force in January, we have been hoping for the best but planning for the worst, and that’s been being worked out every single day, said the vice president.
Trump has made similar claims repeatedly. A few examples:
In a Fox News town hall on March 24, Trump said: I made a decision to close off to China that was weeks early.
In the same town hall, Trump said: I made the early decision with China, so I already closed off to China.
The day before the town hall, the president tweeted the claim, this time including Europe:
And during an earlier Fox News town hall in Scranton, Pennsylvania, on March 5, President Trump said he closed down the borders to China and to other areas that are very badly affected. He also referred to a travel ban on China during an interview with Sean Hannity on March 4.
What to make of these claims?
Italy Banned Flights From China Before America
U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the nation from the Oval Office about the widening Coronavirus … crisis on March 11, 2020
Speaking to the nation last night, U.S. President Donald Trump said a ban on Europeans entering the United States is necessary because Europe hadnt banned flights from China early as the U.S. had done.
The European Union failed to take the same precautions and restrict travel from China and other hot spots as a result a large number of new clusters were seeded by travellers from Europe, he said.
But virtually every part of this statement is untrue.
Italy imposed a ban on flights from China on 31 January, immediately after a Chinese couple in Rome tested positive for the virus. The U.S. began to restrict flights from China four days later. But while Italy enacted a full ban, the U.S. policy was only a restriction, with wide exemptions.
On February 4 the U.S. State Department issued a level 4 travel advisory mandating that foreign citizens who had been to China be turned away, and Americans who had been to China must undergo screening and possibly be put in quarantine for 14 days. But the restrictions contained wide exemptions, largely because of fears over the economic impacts of a full ban. Flight routes between the U.S. and China have been steadily cancelled over the past month, but in a piecemeal fashion and at the discretion of airlines.
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Effect On Banned Countries
More than 135 million people lived in countries affected by the original ban . Muslim countries were most affectedâ Iran, Somalia, Yemen, Libya, and Syria experienced a 92%, 86%, 83%, 80%, 83%, and 77% decrease in the number of immigrant visas to the United States compared to the previous year. However, the number of visas issued to North Koreans increased by 40% during the same period.
Does That Mean Future Bans Will Work
Although our results provide strong evidence that international travel from Italy increased the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. during the first wave of the pandemic, this occurred at a time when people were largely unaware of the virus and the threat that it posed.
Today, with both travelers and policymakers aware of the threat, it is uncertain what effect international travel would have on the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. At the same time, new, more transmittable strains of the virus increase the threat from international travel. If the evidence does warrant additional travel restrictions, our research says to act quickly and think broadly.
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Trouble With Predicting Future Of Transportation Is That Today Gets In The Way
EU politicians are furious about Trumps characterisation, not only because he has mischaracterised the European response, but also because there is no evidence that it was Europeans who brought Coronavirus to the United States. In fact, experts say it most likely came directly from China.
“The only country in Europe that has banned direct flights from China when the Coronavirus started was Italy, says Pascal Canfin, the chair of the European Parliaments public health committee and a close ally of French President Emmanuel Macron. Italy is today the country which is most hit by Coronavirus. So the least I can say is that stopping flights was not an effective response for Italy to stop importing the virus.
It didnt work in the past in Europe regarding flights from China, so I dont see why it should work from Europe to the U.S., he adds. It proved to be ineffective in the Italian case.”
The EU executive and the 27 leaders of EU member countries issued a joint statement this morning saying they were blindsided by Trumps oval office announcement, and had not had any communication from U.S. officials.
The EU disapproves of the fact that the U.S. decision to impose a travel ban was taken unilaterally and without consultation, the statement reads. The Coronavirus is a global crisis, not limited to any continent and it requires cooperation rather than unilateral action.
Sen Chris Murphy Overstates Travel From China After Trump Restrictions
If Your Time is short
The number of people that flew directly in from China after Trumps travel restrictions went into effect was reported in April to be around 40,000, not 400,000.
Those travelers were American citizens and other authorized travelers who were exempted from the restrictions.
That number is now higher, according to new U.S. Customs and Border Patrol data of both direct and indirect flights from China through mid May.
President Donald Trump often restrictions he imposed on travel from China with saving American lives. But Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said the “ban” didnt stop everyone.
“We have had just an absolute abysmal failure of leadership from the White House since the very beginning,” Murphy told MSNBCs Nicolle Wallace in a May 11 interview.
“Effectively, after the travel ban a travel ban that just didn’t work, 400,000 people got in from those countries that were subject to the restrictions after that, the president just gave up.”
We wont weigh in on whether the travel ban “just didnt work,” as Murphy claimed. But Murphy is wrong on the number. He mixed up two numbers from an April 4 New York Times report.
The New York Times report mentioned both numbers in its first paragraph:
We rate Murphys statement False.
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The Airlines Already Stopped Flights Before Trumps China Travel Ban
Trump knows that by the time he put in the Chy-na travel ban, the airlines and already stopped all fights from Chy-na, right? Report from January 31, 2020 :
Delta, American and United announced they will temporarily cancel all of their mainland China flights in response to the coronavirus outbreak, facing pressure from unions representing airline employees and new warnings from public health officials.
As of Friday, the outbreak had infected nearly 10,000 people, most of them in China, and killed more than 200, all in China.
This is what you would call closing the barn door after the horse has already left the barn.
Coronavirus: Cdc Puts Americans Who Left Wuhan Into ‘unprecedented’ 14
In addition, the U.S. is temporarily suspending entry of most travelers arriving from China, or who have recently been in China, if they are not U.S. citizens.
“Foreign nationals other than immediate family of U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have traveled in China in the last 14 days will be denied entry into United States,” Azar said.
Further, U.S. citizens who have been in other areas of mainland China in the past two weeks will be subject to screening at the airport of entry and to heightened monitoring for 14 days.
In their Friday remarks, federal health officials pointed to the fast global spread of the virus as justification for the move. The World Health Organization on Thursday.
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What Else Did The Us President Say
“This is the most aggressive and comprehensive effort to confront a foreign virus in modern history,” he said in a prime-time televised address from the Oval Office on Wednesday.
Justifying the travel restrictions, he accused the EU of failing to take “the same precautions” as the US in fighting the virus.
In his speech he said all travel from Europe would be suspended, but a presidential proclamation later said it would only apply to anyone who had been in the EU’s Schengen border-free area in the 14 days before their arrival in the US.
Mr Trump also said the suspension would also apply to cargo coming from Europe into the US. He later tweeted to say that trade would “in no way be affected”.
The speech included plans to provide billions of dollars in loans to small businesses and the president urged Congress to free up more funds.
President Trump said for most Americans the risk was “very, very low” adding, “no nation is more prepared or more resilient than the United States”.
Trump Administration Restricts Entry Into Us From China
The travel disruption sent shocks through the stock market and rattled industries that depend on the flow of goods and people between the worlds two largest economies.
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Moving to counter the spreading coronavirus outbreak, the Trump administration said Friday that it would bar entry by most foreign nationals who had recently visited China and put some American travelers under a quarantine as it declared a rare public health emergency.
The temporary restrictions followed announcements by American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines that they would suspend air service between the United States and China for several months.
The travel disruption sent shocks through the stock market and rattled industries that depend on the flow of goods and people between the worlds two largest economies. Planning was upended for companies across a vast global supply chain, from Apple to John Deere, the tractor company.
The S& P 500 suffered its worst loss since October, falling 1.8 percent, as the spread of the virus and the increasingly urgent efforts by companies and governments to contain it fanned fears of an economic slowdown.
The government travel restrictions, which will take effect on Sunday evening, were announced by Alex Azar, the secretary of health and human services, who declared that the coronavirus posed a public health emergency in the United States.
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Benefits Of Broader Bans
Our preliminary results suggest that travelers coming from Italy drove the first wave in the U.S. more than those from China. Other researchers have linked the predominant strain of virus in New York City early in the pandemic to Europe.
Based on our evidence, the relatively early ban on travel from China appears to have been effective in reducing cases and deaths.
In late January 2020, when Trump shut down flights from China, the virus may have not yet spread widely enough among travelers from China to significantly contribute to the early wave of the pandemic in the U.S. Waiting until mid-March to impose a ban on travel from Europe, however, may have had deadly consequences.
The lesson: If a travel ban is warranted, time is of the essence.