“Viruses do not recognise borders,” the former prime minister of Finland said as he bitterly complained that the UK was excluded from President Donald Trump’s 30-day U.S. European travel ban.
Mr Stubb, who also had served as the Nordic country’s finance and foreign ministers, said that while “any attempt to contain the coronavirus outbreak is welcome”, President Trump’s decision “to exclude the UK from a European travel ban is nothing short of irresponsible”.
Any attempt to contain the #CoronaOutbreak is welcome, but the decision of @realDonaldTrump to exclude the UK from a European travel ban is nothing short of irresponsible. Viruses do not recognise borders. Decisions should be based on facts, not politics.
— Alexander Stubb (@alexstubb) March 12, 2020
“Viruses do not recognise borders. Decisions should be based on fact, not politics,” added the minister, who in office had voiced his support for multiculturalism during the first migrant crisis and later had hailed Finland’s first feminist, female-led cabinet.
The progressive politician may be correct in that viruses do not recognise borders, but did not explain how his view related to human beings, who catch and transmit viruses and often do recognise borders and travel bans.
His comments were echoed by senior Member of the European Parliament Guy Verhofstadt, who said that “viruses don’t care about borders or nationalities”. Globalist Verhofstadt, who acted as the European Parliament’s Brexit coordinator, also slammed “nationalism” in an underhanded critique of President Trump, claiming that only a “European approach” could manage the spread of the highly-infectious, deadly virus.
Nationalism isn't the answer to #COVID19, because viruses don't care about borders or nationalities. We are all in this together. We need a European approach to save lives & bold interventions to protect our economy. pic.twitter.com/T5g9ua0Qfv
— Guy Verhofstadt (@guyverhofstadt) March 12, 2020
The travel ban, announced on Wednesday night, puts a prohibition on travelling from mainland Europe and therefore excludes the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. Commencing on Friday, the restrictions will last for 30 days. American citizens travelling from Europe who have been screened will be allowed to return home.
President Trump criticised the EU’s response to the coronavirus, which the World Health Organization has now classified as a pandemic, saying: “The European Union failed to take the same precautions and restrict travel from China and other hotspots.”
He added: “As a result, a large number of new clusters in the United States were seeded by travelers from Europe.”