On Thursday, the European Union announced its disapproval of President Donald Trump's restriction on travel to the U.S. from various parts of Europe in an attempt to reduce the spread of the coronavirus (also known as COVID-19), reported CNN.
Administration officials in the White House are now reportedly viewing Europe as the new epicenter of the virus pandemic due to an elevated number of cases. As a result, Trump announced on Wednesday that the U.S. would be restricting travel from more than 24 European countries.
The U.S. president claimed that the decision was made to help contain the public health crisis that has caused global market turmoil and engulfed his presidency, writes CNN. The travel ban is set for the next 30 days and will only apply to foreign nationals. American citizens who have been screened prior to entering the country will be allowed to stay.
The president has been accused of attempting to pin blame for the outbreak on countries outside the United States, stating that Europe has far more cases of the virus than the U.S.
"The European Union failed to take the same precautions and restrict travel from China and other hot spots. As a result, a large number of new clusters in the United States were seeded by travelers from Europe."The travel ban will not extend to the U.K. and is limited to countries within the Schengen Zone.
President of the European Council Charles Michel and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen both spoke out against Trump's decision, commenting that the outbreak is a global crisis and is not limited to any continent. They added that the crisis requires cooperation rather than unilateral action.
"The European Union disapproves of the fact that the US decision to impose a travel ban was taken unilaterally and without consultation."While the U.K. is exempt from the restrictions, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak was skeptical of Trump's decision, stating that there "isn't evidence that interventions like closing borders or travel bans are going to have a material effect on the spread of infection."
Sunak added that the U.K. was not considering a similar travel ban and that all decisions to ban flights would be based on science.
Several European ambassadors working in embassies and consulates in Washington, D.C., have also reported being caught off guard by Trump's decision and are currently working to figure out the next steps.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, some believe that the decision to not extend the travel ban to the U.K. is linked to the fact that Trump has three golf courses located in the U.K. and Ireland that are struggling for business.