Trump Calls for Calm on Virus and Expands Travel Restrictions

President Trump sought on Saturday to extra aggressively deal with the coronavirus after weeks of confusion over his administration’s response, urging public calm and issuing new international journey warnings and restrictions.

At a White House information convention, Mr. Trump acknowledged the primary loss of life recorded within the United States, in Washington State. Vice President Mike Pence stated the administration was issuing its highest-level warning, often called a “do not travel” warning, to areas of Italy and South Korea most affected by the virus.

The United States can also be barring all journey to Iran, and barring entry to any international citizen who has visited Iran within the final 14 days. There may also be screenings of vacationers coming from Italy and South Korea.

Speaking later Saturday on the Conservative Political Action Conference, Mr. Trump additionally instructed the United States was prepared to assist Iranians amid an outbreak there.

“If we can help the Iranians, we have the greatest health care professionals in the world,” he stated, including that “we would love to be able to help them.”

“All they have to do is ask,” he stated.

Aiming to calm the general public after the worst week for the inventory market since 2008, the president, flanked by high federal public well being officers, appealed to “the media and politicians and everybody else involved not do anything to incite a panic, because there’s no reason to panic at all.”

In response to a query, Mr. Trump additionally stated he was “very strongly” contemplating new journey restrictions alongside the southern border to comprise the coronavirus. But he later walked again the likelihood, saying “this is not a border that seems to be much of a problem right now.”

He additionally denied that he had referred to the coronavirus as a “hoax” during a Friday night political rally in South Carolina. “The ‘hoax’ was used with respect to Democrats and what they were saying,” Mr. Trump said. At the rally, the president had said of Democrats: “This is their new hoax,” drawing swift condemnation from his political rivals.

Of the nearly 87,000 coronavirus cases recorded globally as of Sunday, fewer than 7,200 were outside of mainland China.

The Chinese authorities reported 573 new cases. That brings the country’s total to 79,824 since the outbreak began, a figure that includes people who have recovered or died. China also reported 35 new deaths on Sunday, a drop from the previous day’s toll of 47.

  • Updated Feb. 26, 2020

    • What is a coronavirus?
      It is a novel virus named for the crownlike spikes that protrude from its surface. The coronavirus can infect both animals and people and can cause a range of respiratory illnesses from the common cold to more dangerous conditions like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS.
    • How do I keep myself and others safe?
      Washing your hands frequently is the most important thing you can do, along with staying at home when you’re sick.
    • What if I’m traveling?
      The C.D.C. has warned older and at-risk travelers to avoid Japan, Italy and Iran. The agency also has advised against all nonessential travel to South Korea and China.
    • Where has the virus spread?
      The virus, which originated in Wuhan, China, has sickened more than 80,000 people in at least 33 countries, including Italy, Iran and South Korea.
    • How contagious is the virus?
      According to preliminary research, it seems moderately infectious, similar to SARS, and is probably transmitted through sneezes, coughs and contaminated surfaces. Scientists have estimated that each infected person could spread it to somewhere between 1.5 and 3.5 people without effective containment measures.
    • Who is working to contain the virus?
      World Health Organization officials have been working with officials in China, where growth has slowed. But this week, as confirmed cases spiked on two continents, experts warned that the world was not ready for a major outbreak.

The virus has now been detected in at least 59 countries. Qatar confirmed its first case on Saturday, a 36-year-old Qatari citizen who had been in quarantine since recently returning from Iran, the country’s health ministry said.

Iran, which has been at the center of the virus’s spread in the region, confirmed an additional 205 cases on Saturday, bringing its official total to 593. The death toll rose by nine, to 43 — a number many public health experts say indicates a wider spread than officials have acknowledged.

South Korea, which has the largest coronavirus outbreak outside China, reported 376 new cases on Sunday, bringing its total to 3,526.

Italy, the center of the outbreak in Europe, now has a total of 1,128 confirmed cases and 29 deaths. France has reported 100 cases and two deaths. Australia, which has 25 confirmed cases, reported its first death from the virus on Sunday.

Experts have been frustrated with the limited availability of coronavirus tests in the U.S., which until now could only be provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Broader testing will enable more rapid detection and isolation of people who have the coronavirus to help contain the spread of disease.

Iran’s state media reported on Saturday that five members of Parliament had tested positive, adding to the coronavirus’s reach into the top tiers of the country’s politicians.

Over the past week, Iran reported that seven government officials, including one of the country’s vice presidents, were infected. The country’s president, Hassan Rouhani, attended a meeting last week with at least one of them.

Also infected is the son of a prominent politician who advises Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The son, Faridedin Hadad Adel, who is also related to the ayatollah by marriage, tweeted that he had gotten the virus after visiting a school in the holy city of Qom, which is an epicenter of the virus in Iran.

State media reported that an Iranian parliament member had died from respiratory failure after being admitted to a hospital with flulike symptoms, raising questions about whether that was also a coronavirus case. The member, Mohamad Ali Ramezani, was from Gilan Province, which has emerged as a second epicenter of the epidemic within Iran, after Qom.

The outbreak has brought life to a standstill in Iran. Officials have temporarily shut down schools, universities and canceled all public gatherings, according to state media.

Masoumeh Aghapour Alishahi, one of the parliamentarians who has tested positive, released a video message asking Mr. Rouhani to shut down all education centers until the crisis is contained.

The Center of Human Rights in Iran, a research and advocacy group based in the United States, has expressed concerns over reports that prisoners in the country are not being protected from the virus and lack access to medicine, hygiene and sanitary products.

Asadollah Abbasi, a member of Parliament who acts as the body’s spokesman, was quoted in state media as saying that the five positive cases had emerged from testing 100 lawmakers. He said other lawmakers would be tested in their own hometowns or in the capital, Tehran. Iran’s Parliament has 290 representatives.

The country’s death toll rose to 43 from 34 on Friday and the number of infected was up to 593 from 388, according to officials cited in state media. Health experts have said that multiplying each death by 50 is offers a rough estimate of the true number of cases, and experts say the real number of cases is likely much higher than what is being reported.

Mr. Wucinski received a document upon leaving quarantine that directed him to contact a government email address with any medical bills, but he has yet to receive a response. However, a Rady Children’s Hospital spokesman said that the bill from their physicians had been sent in error and that the family would not be held responsible for the charges.

The leader of the United Nations has recommended sharply reducing attendance at the March 9-20 annual meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women at the world body’s New York headquarters because of concerns about the coronavirus epidemic.

If the commission approves the recommendation on Monday, as expected, it will be the latest major gathering to be canceled or curtailed because of the coronavirus epidemic.

The annual meeting is ordinarily attended by more than 7,000 people, including top ministers and diplomats from among the 193 member states of the United Nations. This year’s session was considered especially significant as a venue to assess the progress on gender equality — or lack of it — that has been made in the quarter-century since the 1995 Beijing Declaration, a United Nations document that asserted “women’s rights are human rights” and committed to achieving women’s empowerment in all facets of life.

Stéphane Dujarric, a spokesman for Secretary General António Guterres, said in an email that Mr. Guterres had suggested that the commission “hold a scaled-down meeting, limiting participation to New York-based representation,” which would sharply reduce the size and scope of the meeting and likely lead to the cancellation of numerous side events.

Such moves are growing increasingly common. France is banning gatherings of more than 5,000 people in enclosed spaces and all gatherings in Oise, its region most affected by the coronavirus, the country’s health minister said on Saturday.

A recession that lasts longer than a few months hasn’t occurred in the United States in more than 10 years.

“Supply shock,” a reduction in the economy’s capacity to make things, is at the center of the economic problem emerging from the coronavirus. And American companies that rely heavily on Chinese suppliers might begin facing shortages of key goods in the coming weeks, said Nada Sanders, professor of supply chain management at Northeastern University.

Reporting and research were contributed by Mike Baker, Michael Crowley, Peter Eavis, Donald G. McNeil Jr., Choe Sang-Hun, Thomas Fuller, Sheri Fink, Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Raphael Minder, Amy Qin, Sui-Lee Wee, Vivian Wang, Katie Rogers, Raymond Zhong, Apoorva Mandavilli, Peter Robins, Derrick Taylor, Norimitsu Onishi, Motoko Rich and Makiko Inoue.

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