“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,” Trump declared during a prime-time address to the nation from the Oval Office Wednesday night.
The new rules will go into effect Friday at midnight, the president said, and will include exemptions for American who have undergone appropriate screenings. The restrictions do not apply to the United Kingdom.
“We are marshaling the full power of the federal government and the private sector to protect the American people. This is the most aggressive and comprehensive effort to confront a foreign virus in modern history,” he said.
The president also called for sweeping economic stimulus action to prop up the American economy from the side effects of the virus.
“To ensure that working Americans impacted by the virus can stay home without fear of financial hardship I will soon be taking emergency action, which is unprecedented, to provide financial relief,” the president said.
He specifically ordered the Treasury Department to defer tax payments without interest or penalties for certain impacted individuals and businesses and called on Congress to provide “immediate” payroll tax relief, in addition to other measures.
The president broadly sought to credit his administration’s actions thus far in combating the virus and projected confidence in the face of the growing pandemic, while making note of the fact that the virus began in China.
“This is the most aggressive and comprehensive effort to confront a foreign virus in modern history. I am confident that by counting and continuing to take these tough measures we’ll significantly reduce the threat to our citizens and we’ll ultimately and expeditiously defeat this virus,” the president said.
The president also reiterated the CDC’s commonsense guidance to Americans to protect themselves and others from the spread of the virus.
“Wash your hands, clean often used surfaces, cover your face and mouth if you sneeze or cough. Most of all, if you’re sick or not feeling well, stay home,” Trump said
This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.