In his brief address, the president continued to signal that the pandemic is mainly a threat outside American borders, without fully acknowledging that the coronavirus is spreading within the US.
Trump said that the US is doing better than Europe. “The EU failed to take the same precautions and restrict travel from China and other hot spots,” he said. “As a result, a large number of new clusters in the United States were seeded by travelers from Europe.”
But whereas European nations have rolled out widespread testing, it’s still unclear how many cases we’ve had in America.
The president also said he’ll take “emergency action” to provide relief to workers who are affected. He said he’s asking Congress for $50bn for small business loans. He called for “immidiate” payroll tax cuts.
“We made a life-saving move with early action on China. Now we must take the same action with Europe,” Trump said, referring to earlier restrictions on travel between China and the US.
He also downplayed warnings of a potential recession: “This is not a financial crisis, this is just a temporary moment of time that we will overcome as a nation and as a world,” he said.
Trump temporarily suspends travel from Europe to the US
The restrictions will not apply to the UK, he said. The travel restriction will start Friday, and last for 30 days amid virus outbreak.
Trump also encouraged older Americans to avoid travel if possible. Older people “must be very, very careful,” he said, calling on nursing homes to suspend “medically unnecessary visits.”
He reviewed other measures his administration is taking to address the pandemic.
“The vast majority of Americans, the risk is very, very low,” he said. But he said that older Americans should avoid travel, and endorsed social distancing and avoiding large gatherings. “Every community faces different risks,” he noted and encouraged Americans to listen to local officials.
Donald Trump addresses the nation on coronavirus threat
“We are marshaling the full power of the federal government and the private sector,” Trump began. ‘We will ultimately and expeditiously defeat this virus”