The head of the World Health Organization has warned that “the worst is yet ahead of us” in the coronavirus outbreak, raising new alarm bells about the pandemic just as many countries are beginning to ease restrictive measures.
WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus didn’t specify exactly why he believes that the outbreak could get worse. Some people, though, have pointed to the likely future spread of the illness through Africa, where health systems are far less developed.
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The suspension is related to the coronavirus pandemic and stood in stark contrast to the president’s recent cautious optimism.
By ANITA KUMAR AND MATTHEW CHOI 4/21/20, 6:16 AM CET
U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday night said that he was suspending immigration into the U.S. because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!“ Trump posted on Twitter.
The announcement stood in contrast to Trump’s recent messages of cautious optimism about the country soon reemerging from weeks of lockdowns designed to contain the virus. The president has repeatedly tried to downplay the severity of the outbreak since its arrival in the country, and his push to reopen the economy has put him at odds with some of the nation‘s governors and, at times, his top health experts.
Trump did not hint at making any drastic immigration moves during his lengthy daily coronavirus news briefing earlier Monday evening. Immigration has largely taken a back seat during the pandemic as the president hopes to salvage a strong economy that had become one of his major campaign points in the lead-up to the November election.
Trump has previously boasted that closing the borders to foreigners traveling from China demonstrated his administration‘s serious and early response to the threat from the coronavirus. International travel has come to a virtual standstill as countries across the globe have imposed travel restrictions to prevent the spread of the disease.
Trump’s tweet did not make clear what specific action he would take: He could simply suspend entries for a period of time, or cancel a specific program altogether for the year.
The Department of Homeland Security is still drafting the executive order, according to three people familiar with the situation. One possibility that has been discussed is an exemption for temporary guest workers, including those who work on farms.
When asked what promoted the decision, a top DHS official responded: “22 million unemployed Americans and counting due to Covid-19.”