Trump’s Suspension of Travel from Europe Sealed America’s Fate For Major Covid 19 Spread
That suspension meant that Americans in Europe needed to return home, and Trump gave them 48 hours to do so, packing them into airports like sardines for hours.
Trump has praised himself for his decision in January to restrict travel from China in order to contain the coronavirus, claiming that his decision saved millions of lives. His response to travel from Europe however, opened the back door for Covid-19 to enter the U.S. Many Americans did not want to be stuck in Europe and returned to the U.S. on the same weekend, bringing the virus with them. Exposed travelers into the U.S. from Europe sealed the nation’s fate for a major spread.
On March 12, 2020, Trump suspended all travel to the United States from Europe for 30 days. Americans had 48 hour notice to make travel arrangements back to the U.S.
We should never forget that it was Trump’s decision that caused a major spread of Covid-19 across the United States.
On March 13, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security published its outline for Americans returning from Europe.
““Effective for flights taking off at 11:59 PM EDT on Friday, March 13th, Americans returning from all restricted countries will now be required to travel through the following 13 airports:”
Those airports were;
- Boston-Logan International Airport (BOS), Massachusetts
- Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), Illinois
- Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), Texas
- Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW), Michigan
- Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL), Hawaii
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), Georgia
- John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), New York
- Los Angeles International Airport, (LAX), California
- Miami International Airport (MIA), Florida
- Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), New Jersey
- San Francisco International Airport (SFO), California
- Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), Washington
- Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD), Virginia
On March 14, 2020, 40,000 passengers returning from Europe crowded into the 13 airports.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), on March 13, 2020, the United States had 1,896 confirmed Covid-19 virus cases. Two weeks later, on March 27, 2020, the number of confirmed cases had risen to 103,321.
Although Trump said that Americans would be tested before flying out, Pence said otherwise. Media in the U.K. said the suspension only applied to European citizens, and there was chaos.
Instead of preventing the virus from entering the U.S., Donald Trump’s travel suspension infused the virus upon its cities. It is no surprise that the number of coronavirus cases were numerous in major cities where the 13 airports are located.
Jack Siebert was studying in Spain, and he became ill, including having a fever. His parents contacted him about Trump’s travel suspension and arranged for him to return to Chicago. He arrived at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago three days after Trump’s announcement. He encountered crowds of people packed in tight corridors, and stood in lines with other travelers for nearly five hours.
At the coronavirus checkpoint, Siebert’s temperature was taken and he was instructed to self-isolate. Siebert thought that was absurd given the conditions he encountered on the flight and in the airport. Several days later, Siebert tested positive for Covid-19.
According to the Washington Post, “Epidemiologists contend the U.S. outbreak was driven overwhelmingly by viral strains from Europe rather than China.”
When Donald Trump blames China for the virus entering in and spreading across America, I often talk back to the television saying, “It was your travel suspension that brought thousands of Americans back to the U.S. over the same weekend.” Then, I wonder how many people associate those states with the highest number of cases with their airports? It’s no puzzle that needs to be put together because it is obvious. The Trump administration failed to consider the number of people infected with and exposed to Covid-19 on the planes and in the airports. He failed to have safeguards in place once they reached the United States, only telling them to go home and self-quarantine. There was no consideration that getting home possibly meant being driven by others, including taxi and shuttle drivers, and their risk of exposure.
As of July 27, 2020, the United States has over 4 million cases, and over 147,000 deaths. The surge of cases is said to be based on some states reopening too soon. Donald Trump encouraged states to reopen. He encouraged people to exercise their purported right to infect others by not wearing masks in public places, including grocery stores. .For the sake of the economy, human lives have been sacrificed. Still, Trump has made no nationwide proclamation to wear facial coverings in public.