Trump’s administration has failed to effectively screen passengers from Italy and South Korea for COVID-19, while those countries where the epicentre of the disease, House investigators stressed.
In March, when Italy and South Korea were hit hard by the deadly virus, Vice President Mike Pence announced that “we are now screening 100 per cent of travellers from those countries for the coronavirus before entering the United States,” VisaGuide.World reports.
According to a report released on Thursday by the committee on oversight and reform stressed that the White House didn’t bar Italians and South Koreans from flying to the United States, as it relied upon their screeners to check passengers.
“This investigation reveals another opportunity the administration missed to limit the impact of the coronavirus,” chairman of the subcommittee on economic and consumer policy Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, said.
The report stated that the subcommittee was briefed by staff from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Customs and Border Protection, the Department of Homeland Security’s Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office and the Department of State, which, on March 3, issued the screening directive for citizens coming from the above-mentioned countries.
According to the probe, between March 3 and March 14, only 13 passengers on two US-bound flights from Italy were barred due to the screening process. At that time, Trump’s travel restrictions went into effect for European countries, as part of efforts to stop the spread of the deadly virus.
As for South Korea, only 56 passengers were denied flying to the United States during the same period.
The “late” ban imposed by the United States to travellers coming from Europe might have “helped” in making the US a new epicentre of the Coronavirus pandemic, with a total of 1,457,649 cases of infection.
As in January, the United States main focus was on China introducing entry bans and travel restrictions at the same time; the virus also started to infect the European continent as well.
But, the US government didn’t impose bans on European travellers until mid-March. This might be the reason that the Coronavirus saw a rapid spread in the US.
Although US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention didn’t blame the White House for the quickened spread of the virus in the United States, there has been some timeline by the Federal Agency’s May 1 report showing details regarding the issue.
Nearly 860,000 arrived from Europe in the US in March. President Donald Trump did not publicly respond to the CDC’s latest report on Europe.
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