Norwegian University Advises Students In U.S. To Come Home Due To ‘Poorly Developed Health Services’

Travelers in an airport wearing masks.
Chris J Ratcliffe / Getty Images

A Norwegian university is advising its students in the United States to return home amid the spread of the coronavirus, citing what it called “poorly developed health services” in America.

As Raw Story noted, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology shared a post advising international students to return home.

“This applies especially if you are staying in a country with poorly developed health services and infrastructure, for example the USA,” read the university’s post on Facebook.

The post drew considerable attention on social media, and on Sunday the university changed the wording to take out the reference to the United States. But Raw Story noted that the language calling out the American health services remained on the message on the official website.

The post came as the American response to the coronavirus came under criticism across the world, especially President Donald Trump’s early statements downplaying the severity of the outbreak and calling it the “latest hoax” from Democrats trying to hurt him politically. The federal government has been criticized for having an inadequate number of coronavirus tests available.

Elaine Kamarck, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution think tank, told The Guardian that Trump has failed in his response to the fast-spreading virus.

“He’s an idiot. He’s handled it horribly. When things are rough, you want somebody who can exude confidence and competence and Trump does not do that,” Kamarck said. “We’ve been incredibly lucky. For the last three years, there was nothing big going on that had a real bearing on the lives of the ordinary American. This does.”

Trump also instituted a travel ban from European countries that has come under criticism. As The Week noted, people returning to the United States have arrived to find lines hours long as airport staff struggle to conduct required medical screenings. Pictures shared across social media on Saturday showed crowds of people at several major American airports, including O’Hare International Airport in Chicago.

Experts have said to avoid situations with large gatherings like what occurred at the airports, as it could promote the faster spread of the coronavirus.

Norway has enacted more strict measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, with Prime Minister Erna Solberg announcing this week that all schools, kindergartens, and universities would be closed through the end of March. Norway has also instituted a provision that requires anyone arriving from outside of the Nordic countries to enter quarantine in their homes, even if they are not displaying symptoms.