COVID-19

Trump suspends travel from Europe to U.S. for 30 days

Associated Press Mar 12, 2020
President Trump addresses the nation from the Oval Office about the widening COVID-19 crisis on March 11, 2020 in Washington. Doug Mills — Pool/Getty Images
COVID-19

Trump suspends travel from Europe to U.S. for 30 days

Associated Press Mar 12, 2020
President Trump addresses the nation from the Oval Office about the widening COVID-19 crisis on March 11, 2020 in Washington. Doug Mills — Pool/Getty Images

President Donald Trump says he is suspending travel from over two dozen European countries to the U.S. for 30 days beginning Friday as he seeks to combat a viral pandemic. Trump made the announcement Wednesday in an Oval Office address to the nation, blaming the European Union for not acting quickly enough to address the novel coronavirus and saying U.S. clusters were “seeded” by European travelers.

Trump says the restrictions won’t apply to the United Kingdom, and the U.S. will monitor the situation to determine if travel can be reopened earlier. The White House has also canceled a planned trip by the president to Nevada and Colorado this week, “out of an abundance of caution.”

Stock futures are pointing to more losses in U.S. stock markets Thursday with Trump’s speech appearing to disappoint investors. Shares tumbled in Europe and Asia after the World Health Organization declared a coronavirus pandemic and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell into bear market territory. Thailand’s exchange halted trading for a half-hour after the benchmark hit its 10% limit down. Benchmarks in Paris, London and Frankfurt all opened more than 5% lower.

Futures for the S&P 500 moved from a loss of 0.4% just before Trump spoke from the Oval Office at 9 p.m. EST to a loss of 3.3% an hour later. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were showing a drop of 3.5%.

The declines in the futures markets follow steep losses in regular trading Wednesday as investors become increasingly worried that responses from government and central banks will be insufficient to prevent the outbreak from severely impacting the global economy. The Dow’s drop of 1,464 points dragged it 20% below the record set last month.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

Millions of Americans are unemployed, but businesses say they are having trouble hiring. Why?

This economic crisis is unusual compared to traditional recessions, according to Daniel Zhao, senior economist with Glassdoor. “Many workers are still sitting out of the labor force because of health concerns or child care needs, and that makes it tough to find workers regardless of what you’re doing with wages or benefits,” Zhao said. “An extra dollar an hour isn’t going to make a cashier with preexisting conditions feel that it’s safe to return to work.” This can be seen in the restaurant industry: Some workers have quit or are reluctant to apply because of COVID-19 concerns, low pay, meager benefits and the stress that comes with a fast-paced, demanding job. Restaurants have been willing to offer signing bonuses and temporary wage increases. One McDonald’s is even paying people $50 just to interview.

Could waiving patents increase the global supply of COVID-19 vaccines?

India and South Africa have introduced a proposal to temporarily suspend patents on COVID-19 vaccines. Backers of the plan say it would increase the supply of vaccines around the world by allowing more countries to produce them. Skeptics say it’s not that simple. There’s now enough supply in the U.S that any adult who wants a shot should be able to get one soon. That reality is years away for most other countries. More than 100 countries have backed the proposal to temporarily waive COVID-19 vaccine patents. The U.S isn’t one of them, but the White House has said it’s considering the idea.

Can businesses deny you entry if you don’t have a vaccine passport?

As more Americans get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the economy continues reopening, some businesses are requiring proof of vaccination to enter their premises. The concept of a vaccine passport has raised ethical questions about data privacy and potential discrimination against the unvaccinated. However, legal experts say businesses have the right to deny entrance to those who can’t show proof.

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