Trump’s travel restrictions are leading the homepages of virtually every major news organization Wednesday night. In his Oval Office address, Trump announced the stiff measure, with an exemption for the UK, marking one of the most significant measures yet the federal government has implemented to contain the virus.
But the ban was met with some immediate skepticism. Susan Glasserwondered, “Serious question here: Does the President actually believe the ‘foreign virus’ can be stopped from outside the country when it’s already here?” LAT’s Chris Megerian noted, “President Trump is mostly describing the coronavirus as a threat from overseas, something that can be shut out. But health officials say we’re past that stage, and reducing community spread is the key issue.”
Futures plummet after major error in speech
If Trump hoped to instill confidence in the system and calm the markets with his speech, it did not work. US stock futures fell like a rock after his speech. Perhaps part of that was because Trump made a major error in the speech. The President said the restrictions would apply to “trade and cargo,” but the White House later walked that back to note that the travel ban only applies to human beings. Trump later tweeted, “Very important for all countries and businesses to know that trade will in no way be affected by the 30-day restriction on travel from Europe. The restriction stops people not goods.”
>> Of course, making a significant error like that in front of an audience of millions during a prime time address does not convey a great message, to say the least. Joe Lockhart commented, “An Oval Office address should be the most vetted speech a President gives. And one on a global pandemic even more…”