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Trump: US Has ‘Shut Down’ Coronavirus Coming in From China

February 3, 2020 by  

VOA – President Donald Trump says the United States has “shut down” the coronavirus coming in from China even as officials in San Francisco report the ninth confirmed U.S. case. “We’ve offered China help but we can’t have thousands of people coming in who may have this problem, the coronavirus,” Trump told Fox News in a special Super Bowl pregame interview. “So we’re going to see what happens, but we did shut it down.” National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien told CBS’s Face the Nation that the administration has offered China help — specifically sending experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But China has yet to accept the U.S. offer.

“So far, the Chinese have been more transparent certainly than in past crises and we appreciate that,” O’Brian said. “We’ve got tremendous expertise. This is a worldwide concern. We want to help our Chinese colleagues if we can.”

CDC experts are on the ground in Kazakhstan, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said. Kazakhstan shares a long eastern border with China. Pompeo was in the Kazakh capital Nur-Sultan Sunday.

Meanwhile, officials in San Francisco say a woman who arrived from Wuhan, China, late last month has been diagnosed with the coronavirus, making her the ninth confirmed case in the United States.

Starting Sunday, U.S. citizens who have traveled to China in the last 14 days will be flown to one of eight U.S. airports for extra screening. U.S. citizens who have been in Hubei province, where the outbreak began, will undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Experts say the incubation period for the coronavirus is 14 days.

Most non-U.S. Citizens who have traveled to China within the last two weeks will not be allowed to enter the U.S., except for immediate family members of U.S. citizens, permanent residents and flight crews.

The eight airports are: John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York; Chicago O’Hare International Airport; San Francisco International Airport; Seattle-Tacoma International Airport; Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu; Los Angeles International Airport in California; Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport; and Washington-Dulles International Airport in Virginia.

Starting Monday, Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Detroit Metropolitan Airport will be added to the list.

Chad Wolf, acting Homeland Security secretary, said that the overall risk to Americans remains low. He added that the new rules could add stress and travel time for some passengers, but “public health and security experts agree these measures are necessary to contain the virus and protect the American people,” he said.

Some countries, including the U.S., have closed their borders to foreign nationals who have traveled from China, prompting complains from Chinese officials.

China’s acting ambassador to Israel apologized Sunday for comparing the border closures in Israel and elsewhere to restrictions placed on European Jews trying to escape Nazi Germany in the 1930s.

Dai Yuming said China was one of the few nations that opened its borders to Jewish refugees during “the darkest days in human history.”

The embassy later issued a statement saying there was no intention to compare what is happening today to the Holocaust and apologized to anyone who “understood our message the wrong way.”

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in China appears to grow by the day. As of Monday morning, Chinese health officials report 17,205 cases and 361 deaths.

A man in the Philippines died of the coronavirus Sunday, marking the first death from the virus outside of China.

The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a global health emergency last week.

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