When pressed Regarding his delayed response to the coronavirus pandemic, President Trump has repeatedly cited the US travel ban imposed on China, which took effect on February 1. “Trump said on March 29.” That is a good thing to do, a great thing to do. “
However, what Trump did not mention was the failure of his administration to restrict travelers from Europe until it was too late. Investigations by The Intercept show that travel from Europe is the main facilitator of the spread of the virus in the US – a large number of the first Covid-19 cases in the US can be traced to Europe. While Chinese restrictions operate as an attempt to close the front door to infection from the country where the pandemic began, the back door – a trip from Europe, where the virus is very fierce in Italy – remains wide open until mid-March and can be linked to a surge in cases in the US, especially in the New York area.
Intercept reviewed hundreds of media reports detailing the first recorded coronavirus cases – known as “index cases” – in US states and territories. European travel precedes the index case in at least 13 states and territories, compared to only five from China. There are more import index cases from cruise ships (six) than from China, while Italy accounts for at least 10 of the 19 first-case Covids.
Example, The first case of Missouri is a young woman studying abroad in Italy, while a middle school trip to Milan is behind the Rhode Island index case. Tourists from Italy brought it to Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma, Colorado, New Hampshire, and Southern carolina. Italian tourists bring Covid-19 to Puerto Rico, and Navy reserve troops stationed in Italy brought it to Maine.
A review of known index cases also shows that coronaviruses often spread from the northeastern United States, which shows the chain of transmission from China to Europe to the US east coast, and from there to other US countries. Many state governments have refused to openly share data on the origin of their original cases, but some, like New Mexico, Kansas, North Dakota, and Idaho, confirming that their first case had a link to New York or the northeastern US.
The Index Case in the United States
Starting February 1 when flight restrictions come into force in the Schengen zone (26 European countries without internal border checks) and the United Kingdom and Ireland, respectively on March 14 and March 17, more than 10,000 direct flights from Europe have arrived at 12 major American airports, according to data from the tracking agent FlightAware. Although this number includes several cargo flights, their proportion of passenger flights is very low. Occupancy data from Air France / KLM indicated that the flight might bring around 1,000,000 people to the country.
In the six weeks before the European travel ban, the US was hit by a large number of travelers from highly infected areas. During that time, there were almost no checks at international airports for passengers arriving from Europe, because American authorities focused their screening efforts on Chinese tourists. China’s travel restrictions are mostly cosmetic – the Chinese government banned flights from the Hubei region on January 23 and sharply reduced the case through strict locking and quarantine.
The Trump administration seems to have considered – and refused – a ban on early European travel in January. The Washington Post reports that Matthew Pottinger, deputy national security adviser, had proposed a travel ban in affected European countries at the end of January, which was supported by health officials but was rejected by President Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. When Trump faced increasing criticism for an unpleasant initial lag period, he tried to focus his mistakes on China, and on Saturday he was publish a tweet trying to discredit the New York Times story about the role of European travel in the New York epidemic.
The impact from Europe was very severe on the US east coast, where many of the flights landed. From February 5 to the implementation of travel bans on March 14 and March 17, nearly 4,000 direct flights from Europe arrived at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport and Newark Liberty International in New Jersey, far more than any other metropolitan area in the country. . San Francisco, by contrast, where caseloads are relatively low, has a little more than 600 flights from Europe in the same time period. While San Francisco also took more stringent precautionary measures before, such as issuing an order to stay home five days before New York did, it was also subject to less overall exposure.
Six weeks of coronavirus exposure from Europe
|Destination airport||Date||Original departure||Number of flights|
|JFK airport||2/5 to 3/13||Schengen||1569|
|2/5 to 3/16||English and Irish||1189|
|O’Hare International Airport||2/5 to 3/13||Schengen||585|
|2/5 to 3/16||English and Irish||188|
|San Francisco International Airport||2/5 to 3/13||Schengen||351|
|2/5 to 3/16||English and Irish||278|
|Los Angeles International Airport||2/5 to 3/13||Schengen||264|
|2/5 to 3/16||English and Irish||419|
|Seattle-Tacoma International Airport||2/5 to 3/13||Schengen||147|
|2/5 to 3/16||English and Irish||114|
|Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport||2/5 to 3/13||Schengen||563|
|2/5 to 3/16||English and Irish||183|
|Newark Liberty International Airport||2/5 to 3/13||Schengen||861|
|2/5 to 3/16||English and Irish||448|
|Washington Dulles International Airport||2/5 to 3/13||Schengen||525|
|2/5 to 3/16||English and Irish||310|
|Boston Logan International Airport||2/5 to 3/13||Schengen||305|
|2/5 to 3/16||English and Irish||401|
|Dallas / Fort Worth International Airport||2/5 to 3/13||Schengen||104|
|2/5 to 3/16||English and Irish||171|
|Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport||2/5 to 3/13||Schengen||247|
|2/5 to 3/16||English and Irish||39|
|Miami International Airport||2/5 to 3/13||Schengen||661|
|2/5 to 3/16||English and Irish||276|
|Total flights from Schengen and UK to the United States||10042|
A new study by researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine shows that, of the 91 patients studied, the majority of New York City’s corona virus strains are identical to those found in Europe. This provides additional evidence that Europe is the main source of Covid-19 in what became the epicenter of the global pandemic earthquake.
“We found that many transmission chains come about two-thirds from Europe, and another third from Asia and some from other countries in the United States,” Dr. Adriana Heguy, director of the Genome Technology Center at NYU Langone and leader of the sorting team. The proportion of lines from China is low, while there are many different European countries. “You call a European country and basically it appears: France, Austria, the Netherlands, Italy, Madrid, I’m sure we have it. “It’s from everywhere in Europe,” he said.
Heguy said that the volume of flights from Europe “was perhaps the most likely explanation” why New York City became the center of a pandemic, adding that the virus might have spread in the US from late January. “It is very likely that there has been a community transmission that lasted six to eight weeks” before noting the index case, he said.
Britain is one of the last European countries to implement preventive measures such as tight locking, and has paid the price with around 10,000 deaths and intensive care at the prime minister’s hospital, Boris Johnson (now discharged from the hospital). Among European countries, Britain has by far the most extensive air connection to the US. There were at least 3,211 flights from London to the US from February 5 to March 17, accounting for nearly one third of the total European flights to the US during that time. period of time. This means that one of the European countries that presents the greatest risk to the US is actually excluded from the first European travel ban.
Even when the European travel ban was imposed, flights from Europe still carried large numbers of Americans from the viral hot spot, because US citizens were not imposed on them. There are at least 246 flights from Britain, Ireland, and the Schengen zone to JFK itself after the ban. There are more daily flights from Europe than from China.
When a European travel ban was imposed, TSA checks were carried out at US airports, forcing some passengers to wait for hours at a crowded airport, filling in forms, and answering questions from officials with protective equipment. Congestion is formed at the arrival terminal, potentially triggering the spread of epidemics when thousands of travelers from affected countries are crammed into tight spaces. In other words, even when the ban is implemented late, it is done in a way that is likely to increase the number of people exposed to the virus.
When Cherie Saulter, a PhD student at American University, flew from Lisbon, Portugal to Washington, D.C. on March 15, he and other passengers were given a printout from the Centers for Disease Control with basic information about coronavirus. They waited 1.5 hours to clear the busy customs area. “The majority of people do not distance themselves from social,” Saulter told The Intercept. “It’s very impossible to stay six feet away from people on all sides because of the way the lines are laid.”
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