Earlier this week, the Trump administration announced it was adding 26 European countries to the coronavirus travel ban.
On Saturday, Breitbart reported that Vice President Mike Pence has declared that the U.K. and Ireland have been added to the list.
Watching the numbers
While some outlets have hinted that Trump’s business interests are dictating these travel bans, the president is following the advice of the health experts on the coronavirus task force.
The U.K. and Ireland were not initially included because there was a relatively low number of cases reported. Since then, that number has grown, so they are now included in the restrictions.
The ban, however, will not stop American citizens from getting back into the country, although they will have to be tested and possibly self-quarantine to ensure they are not infected.
The fearmongering and misreporting by the media, however, has created a bit of a panic, with many international travelers rushing to return to the U.S., which has in turn resulted in an overflow at airports across the country.
Biden and Sanders disagree
While the health experts on the White House coronavirus task force have applauded the decision to largely shut down international travel, both Democrat presidential hopefuls, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, have disagreed. Not only that, but they are also using this as a way to label Trump a xenophobe. After infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci came out in support of the travel bans, Biden voiced his disapproval.
A wall will not stop the coronavirus.
Banning all travel from Europe — or any other part of the world — will not stop it.
This disease could impact every nation and any person on the planet — and we need a plan to combat it.
— Joe Biden (Text Join to 30330) (@JoeBiden) March 13, 2020
Sanders has traveled down the same path, arguing that halting travel is not a correct or effective response. Take a look:
What is important for people to know right now is that these travel restrictions, as well as the recommended personal hygiene measures and mass closures of public events, are going to have a significant impact on reducing the spread of the virus. During the 2009-10 H1N1 outbreak, the Obama administration put no travel restrictions in place, schools were not closed, and life pretty much went on as normal, which resulted in 60 million cases and 12,469 deaths in this country.
The point is that prevention-wise, we are in far better shape this time around, so there is no need to panic about these travel bans or about the uptick in confirmed cases that will surely arise now that testing kits are becoming available in abundance.