President Trump said today that the United Kingdom may be added to the U.S. travel ban after all, given Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his government’s inability to control the spread of coronavirus.
Speaking in the White House Rose Garden this afternoon, Trump declared: “We may have to include them in the list of countries we will – you could say ban or whatever it is – during this period of time. But yeah, their numbers have gone up fairly precipitously over the last 24 hours, so we may be adding them and may be adding a couple of others, and we may frankly start about taking some off.”
Donald Trump has said the US is considering including the UK in its European travel ban, following an increase in the number of #coronavirus cases diagnosed in Britain.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) March 13, 2020
The news comes less than a day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson callously insisted that “many more families are going to lose loved ones before their time.”
Britain’s response appears to be along the lines of developing “herd immunity” which requires most of the population to be willingly exposed to the virus.
This will mean that many thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, could die under the UK government strategy – a response that no other government in the world has been willing to countenance.
Originally, Britain was believed by the U.S. government to be responding responsibly to the outbreak. Prime Minister Johnson proved them wrong, fast.
Britain’s health minister Nadine Dorries and her mother both recently tested positive for the coronavirus.
"This is the worst public health crisis for a generation"
UK PM Boris Johnson says it is "not right" to compare coronavirus to flu, adding "many more families are going to lose loved ones before their time" as the virus spreadshttps://t.co/0jp2YH9bl2 #CoronavirusPandemic pic.twitter.com/WriDAlPjIT
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) March 12, 2020
The U.S. President used his address to announce a “national emergency” – another step the Johnson government has shunned.
This makes $50bn available for the national response.
The executive order released today reads as follows:
Section 1. Emergency Authority. The Secretary of HHS may exercise the authority under section 1135 of the SSA to temporarily waive or modify certain requirements of the Medicare, Medicaid, and State Children’s Health Insurance programs and of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Privacy Rule throughout the duration of the public health emergency declared in response to the COVID‑19 outbreak.
Sec. 2. Certification and Notice. In exercising this authority, the Secretary of HHS shall provide certification and advance written notice to the Congress as required by section 1135(d) of the SSA (42 U.S.C. 1320b-5(d)).
Sec. 3. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this proclamation shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or
(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(b) This proclamation shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(c) This proclamation is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
The British government has not yet responded to the move.