“Assume Everyone Is Infected”: US & Europe Wake Up To World In Lockdown As Death Toll Rises: Live Updates
Update (0735ET): European newswires are reporting that European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel have agreed on measures to potentially close or tighten the EU border. Those measures will be released in the coming hours.
So Brussels is finally throwing in the towel…
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Update (0730ET): US Surgeon General Jerry Adams said Monday that the country will likely need 6-8 weeks for the virus to run its course.
If Europeans have anybody to blame for the continent-wide spread of the novel coronavirus, the European Commission should be pretty high on that list. Since the beginning, Brussels has advised member states to leave their borders open, arguing that closures within the Schengen Area are not the answer.
Unfortunately, the absurdity of this open-borders-at-all-costs philosophy has finally been exposed as Spain and France joined Italy in imposing a national lockdown, and Germany, Austria and Denmark joined the Czech Republic, Hungary (which announced its border closure just minutes ago) and Poland – where populists hold outsize sway – in closing their borders. The Czech Republic has also joined in the mass quarantine movement, sealing off some towns entirely.
In a leaked statement on Monday, Brussels doubled-down on its stance, saying that border closures are not the answer as France mulls shutting its borders after Germany announced its border closures on Sunday.
Italy’s neighbors have mostly shut their borders with the literal ‘sick man of Europe’.
Meanwhile, in China, health officials suspiciously warned on Monday that ‘imported’ cases of the virus are creating ‘uncertainties’ as the outbreak comes to an end.
So get ready for Beijing to blame foreigners for re-starting the epidemic (giving it fodder to reject international calls for Beijing to acknowledge some accountability for the outbreak) as doctors suddenly “discover” another 100,000 ill.
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