When the coronavirus outbreak began to spread throughout China and beyond in January, President Donald Trump took proactive measures to limit and restrict travel to and from the Asian nation — particularly its most heavily impacted areas — in an approach that likely delayed and limited the initial spread of the virus to the United States.
As the coronavirus disease now known as COVID-19 has continued to make its way to other nations around the globe, Trump has once again taken definitive action to reduce the potential for a widespread outbreak in America by enhancing health screening procedures for travelers coming from “certain designated high-risk countries,” the New York Post reports. The screenings will be conducted both before and after the travelers’ arrival in the U.S.
Enhanced screening introduced
In a tweet posted on Sunday morning, President Trump wrote:
Coronavirus: In addition to screening travelers “prior to boarding” from certain designated high-risk countries, or areas within those countries, they will also be screened when they arrive in America. Thank you!
This elevated screening for the coronavirus was already in place with regard to travelers from China, but it has now been extended to travelers from nations including Iran, Italy, and South Korea, all of which have reportedly suffered significant outbreaks in specific parts of their countries.
New travel restrictions, advisories
The notice of additional health screenings for travelers from the hardest-hit nations came just one day after Vice President Mike Pence, who was placed in charge of Trump’s coronavirus task force, according to The Washington Post, announced on Saturday that additional travel restrictions and advisories had been imposed on foreign nationals originating from or passing through the severely impacted nations of Iran, Italy, and South Korea.
In a press briefing at the White House, Pence said: “Iran is already under a travel ban, but we are expanding existing travel restrictions to include any foreign national who has visited Iran within the last 14 days.
“In addition to moving Iran, we are going to increase to the highest level of advisory — which is level four — advising Americans do not travel to specific regions in Italy and South Korea,” he continued. “We are urging Americans to not travel to the areas in Italy, and the areas in South Korea, that are most affected by the coronavirus.”
Pence added that the administration is working closely with Italy and South Korea to develop and implement coordinated medical screening procedures for anyone traveling from those countries to America.
Decisive steps continue
The New York Post noted that the vice president’s spokesperson, Katie Miller, issued a statement to the media to further clarify what Pence had announced.
“There is already screening for those coming into the United States for those who have been in China in the last 14 days. This will be expanded to Italy and South Korea,” Miller explained in the statement.
She emphasized: “Additionally, we are currently working on exit screening from South Korea, Italy, and other European Nations as needed.”
Contrary to what might be heard from Democrats and the mainstream media, President Trump and his team are facing the coronavirus crisis head-on and are taking decisive steps to try and limit the potential spread of the virus across the U.S.