After the initial spread of the COVID-19 from its epicenter its Wuhan, China, government officials from around the world are faced with making important decisions that affect the wellbeing of their nation. The movement of people concerns these officials, as it also questions their ability to tame the virus within their countries.
On Wednesday March 11, Trump addresses COVID-19, and his plan to ban travelers from Europe excluding the UK. His bold move appears to express confidence for his supporters but sparks chaos for everyone else.
As US citizen’s daily routines are shutting down, including schools, the suspension of the NBA season and the positive diagnosis of movie stars, Trump’s focus on outsiders overrides actions he could have taken to minimize viral spread within the US.
So far one of the main issues is a nationwide lack of testing kits, which Trump has not addressed. Trump’s toneless March 11th speech, as he constantly demonizes foreigners, reveals that his actions may be inadequate for re-election. He says, “a large number of new clusters in the United States were seeded by travelers from Europe,” blaming the EU countries failing to contain its people and the virus.
Onwards, there are questions surrounding Trump’s actions to issue the travel ban on all European countries except the UK. Citizens re-evaluate closing the borders when the virus has already reached the country.
Trump quotes that, “the strong US economy will emerge from the crisis unscathed. This is not a financial crisis. This is just a temporary moment of time that we will overcome together as a nation and as a world.” But just as his address was released US stock markets the following day started to drop drastically. The panic then was scattered the viral droplets not only of the health crisis but the far-reaching effects of an economic crisis as well.
In China, where the outbreak has started more than 80,000 cases has reported more than 4600 deaths since the outbreak started. On April 28th, China accused the US of boldfaced lies. China’s president, Xi Jinping, issued policies that restricted movement of tens of millions of people causing them to have to show ID cards to leave houses.
The country went on enforced lockdown, including exits from residential complexes, banning the private use of cars, forbidding residents from leaving their apartments without permission and pharmacies requiring citizens purchasing cold medicine to have their temperature checked. Later, when the citizens were unable to get out of their homes, there were designated officials that bought and delivered groceries to residents.
A Chinese citizen described how rapid the change of atmosphere was, of chaos and desperation: “Perhaps it is true that only China can build a hospital in 10 days, only China can mobilize so many people to devote themselves to the anti-epidemic agenda, only China can lock down a city with millions of people at lightning speed.” Citizens were even financially rewarded if they reported people who fail the quarantine orders reflecting China’s decades-long history of authoritative control.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the Trump administration’s coronavirus task force, told NBC that China’s measures kept the outbreak from getting even worse, but “Their efforts have been draconian, something we [United States] never would be able to do here.”