CORONAVIRUSES IN THE UNITED STATES LIVE | [Reuters]. Defending your strategy against the mortal coronavirus, President Donald trump repeatedly noted that its spread to U.S by banning travelers from China on January 31 of this year.
“Democrats criticized me when I closed the country to China many weeks before what almost everyone recommended. He saved many lives. “ He tweeted, for example, on March 2.
But Reuters found that it took the administration a month from the time it learned of the outbreak in late December to impose initial travel restrictions amid furious internal strife.
During that time, National Security Council (NSC), State Department, and other federal agency personnel discussed everything from the best way to screen sick travelers to the economic impact of any restriction, according to two government officials familiar with the deliberations.
NSC staff eventually proposed aggressive travel restrictions to high-level administration officials, but it took the president at least another week to adopt them, one source said.
At the meetings, Matthew Pottinger, deputy national security adviser and expert on China, was met by the opposition of the Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and the director of the National Economic Council, Larry Kudlow, said two former members of the NSC and one of the government officials involved in the deliberations. The top two advisers were concerned about the financial consequences of banning travelers from China, the sources said.
Each day the administration discussed travel measures, approximately 14 thousand travelers came to the United States from China, according to figures cited by the administration of Donald trump. Among them was a traveler who came from Wuhan to Seattle in mid-January, which turned out to be the first confirmed case in U.S.
On January 22, Donald trump He played down the threat posed by the virus, and told CNBC from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, “We have it fully under control.”
The battle inside the White House over whether and how to stop infected travelers from China lasted nine more days.
On January 31, Donald trump It issued a proclamation prohibiting the entry of non-US citizens, in addition to the immediate family of citizens and permanent residents, who had traveled to China in the past two weeks. The restrictions have since been extended to many other countries.
It is unclear when the chairman was informed of the NSC’s proposal and what prompted his decision to act, but the decision followed the World Health Organization’s statement the day before that the epidemic was a “health emergency of international concern. “
Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention U.S told Reuters that they contributed to the decision as part of the new workforce on coronavirus summoned by the administration.
A Treasury Department spokesman said Mnuchin “never opposed the decision to restrict flights from China.”
For his part, a White House spokesman, Judd P. Deere, said: “Any suggestion that Larry Kudlow opposed restricting flights from China to contain COVID-19 and protecting the health of the American people is completely false. Larry fully supported the President’s bold decision. “
In a statement, NSC spokesman John Ullyot said the first council meetings on the coronavirus They involved great experience and solid discussion and were professionals.
Until April 4, the coronavirus has infected more than 300 thousand people in U.S and has killed more than 8 thousand, according to the balance of the coronavirus from Reuters. The country has more cases than anywhere else in the world.
Sources in this story, former NSC members, public health officials, and others involved or informed of the administration’s response, spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment.
What is the coronavirus?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the coronavirus They are a wide family of viruses that can cause different conditions, from the common cold to more serious diseases, such as Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS-CoV) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV).
He coronavirus recently discovered causes infectious disease by coronavirus COVID-19. Both were detected after the outbreak that occurred in Wuhan (China) in December 2019.
Fatigue, fever and dry cough are the most common symptoms of COVID-19; however, some patients may experience nasal congestion, pain, runny nose, sore throat, or diarrhea.
Although the majority of patients (about 80%) recover from the disease without the need for any special treatment, about one in six people who contract the disease COVID-19 You develop a serious condition and have trouble breathing.
To protect yourself and prevent the spread of the disease, the WHO recommends washing your hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based disinfectant that kills viruses that may be on your hands. In addition, a minimum distance of one meter should be maintained in front of anyone who sneezes or coughs, because if you are too close, you can breathe the droplets that harbor the virus of the COVID-19.
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