President Donald Trump speaks in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
At a press conference Saturday in the White House briefing room, the President delivered some coronavirus news.
As per Trump, the U.S. travel ban will be getting a few additions.
Iran, parts of South Korea, and some of Italy are making the list, in an effort to stem the spread.
A travel ban on Iran was already in place; but, as per VP Mike Pence, restrictions there have been expanded:
“[W]e are expanding existing travel restrictions to include any foreign national who has visited Iran within the last 14 days.”
Saturday also saw, sadly, the first confirmed death of an American from the illness — in Washington state.
The Commander-in-Chief indicated there are now 22 verified cases in the U.S.
He explained that the deceased was female and only in her 50’s, though “medically high-risk.”
[Note: the New York Post reports the victim was actually a man “who became ill while in a long-term care facility.”]
“Unfortunately, one person passed away overnight. She was a wonderful woman, a medically high-risk patient in her late 50s. Additional cases in the United States are likely but healthy individuals should be able to fully recover. If you’re healthy, you will probably go through a process and you’ll be fine.”
You might get horribly sick, but you’ll see the other side of it:
“Healthy individuals should be able to fully recover, and we think that will be a statement that we can make with great surety now that we’ve gotten familiar with this problem. They should be able to recover should they contract the virus. So healthy people, if you’re healthy, you will probably go through a process and you’ll be fine.”
Noting that “there’s no reason to panic at all,” the President asked the media and politicians to “not do anything to stoke fear.”
Here’s more on the travel ban from The Daily Wire:
[Vice President Mike Pence] said Trump has authorized a ban on foreign nationals who have traveled to Iran within the last 14 days from coming to the U.S. Pence also said the State Department has increased the travel advisory to the highest level for several regions of South Korea and Italy, warning Americans not to travel there at all. He also said he was considering a clamp down on the souther border.
“We are going to increase, to the highest level advisory — which is Level 4 — advising Americans: Do not travel to specific regions in Italy and South Korea,” he said. “We are urging Americans to not travel to the areas in Italy and the areas in South Korea that are most affected by the coronavirus.” In Italy, confirmed cases totaled 1,100 on Saturday.
Alex Azar, the secretary of Health and Human Services who also attended the conference, said, “We want to lower the amount of travel to and from the most impacted areas. This is a basic containment strategy.”
According to Trump, some early moves have helped keep the nation sheltered from a worse breakout:
“We moved very early. That was one of the decisions we made that really turned out to be a lifesaver, in a sense. A big lifesaver.”
And it’s getting better on the other side of the globe:
“I want to say that China seems to be making tremendous progress. Their numbers are way down … If you read, Tim Cook of Apple said that they’re now in full operation again in China.”
And here’s a bit of interesting info from the CDC:
CDC Coronavirus: Coronaviruses are common throughout the world. They can infect people and animals. Five different coronaviruses can infect people and make them sick. They usually cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory illness.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people such as with MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV, and now with this new virus (named SARS-CoV-2).
The SARS-CoV-2 virus is a betacoronavirus, like MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV. All three of these viruses have their origins in bats. The sequences from U.S. patients are similar to the one that China initially posted, suggesting a likely single, recent emergence of this virus from an animal reservoir.
Well, now those bats won’t be able to fly…to us…if they stopped off in Iran on the way over.
Let’s hope and pray it’s quickly contained.
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