President Trump said Thursday that travel restrictions to California and Washington, two states hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak, were possible “if an area gets too hot.”
One day after announcing a 30-day suspension of travel from the European Union to the United States, Trump was asked by a reporter in the Oval Office whether domestic restrictions were also possible.
“Is it a possibility?” Trump responded. “Yes, if somebody gets a little bit out of control, if an area gets too hot.”
Trump canceled his own trip to Nevada and Colorado minutes after announcing the EU travel restrictions.
Of the more than 1,400 cases of coronavirus confirmed in the United States, the largest number, 341, are in Washington state. New York has reported 327 cases, the second-highest, and California currently has 201.
Trump’s use of international travel bans has been criticized by public health officials who say the virus is already in the United States and spreading rapidly.
Connecticut’s chief epidemiologist said Thursday that 10 to 20 percent of the state’s population could contract coronavirus over the next month. Given Connecticut’s population of 3.75 million, that translates to between 357,300 and 714,600 infected residents. To date, only three people in Connecticut have tested positive for the coronavirus.
Amy Acton, Ohio’s health department director, made an equally dire assessment about her state, saying data indicate that 1 percent of the state’s population is likely already infected with the coronavirus. That means 117,000 people could be walking around with the virus at the present time. Just six cases have been reported in Ohio so far.
This is huge: Ohio Health Dept. Director Amy Acton is saying that evidence of community spread indicates that 1% of Ohioans are currently carrying coronavirus. That's *117,000* people.
Only 5 in Ohio have actually tested positive to this point. pic.twitter.com/lae7T6W5jN
— Tyler Buchanan (@Tylerjoelb) March 12, 2020
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