Vice President Mike Pence, who is leading the government’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, asserted on Thursday morning that President Donald Trump’s announcement of a month-long Europe travel ban was not confusing.
“I don’t think there was confusion,” Pence told CNN “New Day” host Alisyn Camerota while praising Trump’s “historic step” of banning all incoming travel from 26 European countries with the exception of the U.K.
According to the vice president, Trump had made the decision “on the spot” after “hearing from all sides that the best thing we could do is suspend all travel.”
Pence also explained the logistics of the travel restrictions for Americans and U.S. legal residents who are returning home from Europe.
“Americans coming home will be funneled through 13 different airports,” he said. “They’ll be screened and then we’re going to ask every American and legal resident returning to the United States to self-quarantine for 14 days.”
Despite the vice president’s claim, there was indeed confusion over Trump’s announcement. The President had initially stated that the ban would include “the tremendous amount of trade and cargo” and did not clarify how the ban would affect Americans who were already in Europe.
Shortly after his speech, Trump walked back his declaration on trade and said that trade would not be affected by the ban, and the Department of Homeland Security explained that Americans and legal residents would be allowed to return to the U.S. after being screened for the virus.
Watch Pence below:
Pence claims there wasn't confusion over Trump's announcement of the Europe travel ban. pic.twitter.com/dcgWf6Htpd
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) March 12, 2020