President Trump bans travel from Europe to the U.S.
On Wednesday evening, President Donald Trump banned travel from European Union nations to the U.S. for 30 days in an Oval Office address.
The president said he was "marshaling the full power of the federal government and the private sector" and that the government's efforts amount to "the most aggressive and comprehensive effort to confront a foreign virus in modern history." The World Health Organization labeled the coronavirus as a global pandemic on Wednesday.
"To keep new cases from entering our shores, we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next thirty days. These restrictions will be adjusted subject to conditions on the ground," the president said. Americans who have been screened may receive an exemption.
Trump's travel ban comes as the White House considers economic relief measures in an effort to halt a collapsing stock market and an economy that may already be in a recession. The Trump administration had reportedly been considering a payroll tax holiday, federally subsidized sick leave, and bailouts for the airline and cruise industries.
President Trump outlined those measures in his address. The president said that the Small Business Administration will provide low-interest loans in states affected by the coronavirus in order to overcome temporary effects from the economic slowdown.
In addition, Trump said he would allow differed tax payments for certain individuals and businesses negatively impacted by the virus.
Finally, the president called on Congress to provide Americans with "immediate payroll tax relief."
The travel ban from Europe takes effect beginning Friday. The United Kingdom, which left the European Union as of 2020, is not included in the ban.