As the coronavirus crisis deepens in the U.S. and across the world, President Trump gave a rare Oval Office address tonight as his administration continues to face criticism over its response to the outbreak.
In the speech, Trump said that starting Friday, the U.S. government would ban travel from Europe to America for 30 days, with the United Kingdom being the exception. There will also be additional exceptions, which were not spelled out, for certain travelers and cargo that goes through a screening process. (The Department of Homeland Security later clarified to CNN that American citizens and family members of American citizens would be able to re-enter the country.)
Among the other major talking points from the speech: Trump called on Congress to provide immediate payroll tax relief. He also said he was working on additional measures to ease the financial burden for workers who are ill, quarantined or caring for others due to the coronavirus.
In addition, Trump proposed a funding increase of $50 million that would allow the Small Business Administration to have access to capital and liquidity in order to provide loans to businesses in affected states and territories.
The president also said some individuals and businesses will be able to delay the filing of their taxes, due on April 15, though he did not specify who that would apply to.
Coronavirus cases in the U.S. topped 1,000 today as some major moves were announced. Schools in the hard-hit Seattle area will close for two weeks, St. Patrick’s Day parades have been canceled and March Madness games will be played without fans attending in person. APlus, the NBA has suspended its season.