A pair of Democrat senators offered rare praise of President Donald Trump’s plans to block travel from Europe to prevent additional coronavirus cases coming into the United States.
“It seems like of the 35 states that now have coronaviruses, 30 of them have originated in Europe, so I think it’s a wise move,” Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IlL) said in an interview the New York Post.
I think it’s a good step, absolutely,” Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL), a moderate Democrat in from a ruby-red state, told the Post. “The fact of the matter is we’re going to have to take some very serious steps.”
“And I think the administration started that yesterday. I wish they would have started things a little bit earlier,” he added.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) declined to criticize the move when asked about it during her weekly press conference Thursday, saying she deferred to task force member Anthony Fauci on the matter.
“Dr. Fauci said it was a scientific medical decision. I have a great confidence in Dr. Fauci,” the speaker said.
“It’s a decision they made,” she said, adding: “we’ll see whether it’s worth the trouble. I’m here about what we can do to go forward for America’s — putting families first without having a criticism of one of the other things that the president is doing.”
Addressing the nation from the Oval Office of the White House, President Trump said the United States will ban travel from European countries for 30 days beginning at midnight Friday in order to prevent new cases of the coronavirus from entering the country.
“After consulting with our top government health professionals, I have decided to take several strong but necessary actions to protect the health and well-being of all Americans,” Trump said.
President Trump said the ban will not affect travel from Britain and there will be exemptions for Americans overseas who have undergone appropriate screenings.
President Trump said he is also instructing the Small Business Administration to provide low-interest loans to small businesses affected by the coronavirus and asking Congress to increase funding for this program by $50 billion and provide Americans with immediate payroll tax relief.
The UPI contributed to this report.