Homeland Safety Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli testifies earlier than the Senate Homeland Safety Committee throughout a listening to on the federal government’s response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on March 5, 2020 in Washington, DC. Samuel Corum/Getty Photos/AFP
The US is weighing a ban on vacationers from Europe to gradual the unfold of the coronavirus, a senior US official stated Wednesday.
“The question is a live question about how to treat Europe as a whole,” stated Ken Cuccinelli, the performing deputy secretary of the Division of Homeland Safety.
“That is not to the level of using legal authorities to block travel yet. But it is under consideration,” he advised a congressional listening to.
“As each country, or in this case region, becomes more and more problematic it obviously gets reviewed on a day-to-day basis,” Cuccinelli advised the Home Homeland Safety Committee.
“Europe presents a unique problem,” he stated, pointing to the Schengen Space that maintains open borders between many of the Western European nations.
Cuccinelli, who can be performing director of US Citizenship and Immigration Providers, stated that Italy, the European nation worst hit by the COVID-19 virus, is pre-screening passengers on all direct flights to the US.
However Cuccinelli stated the US doesn’t have sufficient assets to display screen journey by Italians or others who’re flying not directly to the US from Europe.
He gave no further data on the potential of a ban.
Earlier a high authorities well being skilled stated the biggest risk to the nation with respect to the virus is transmission from Europe.
“Where our real threat is right now is Europe,” stated Robert Redfield, director of the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention.
“That’s where the cases are coming in from. If you want to be blunt, Europe is the new China,” he stated.