Airlines Suspended China Flights Before Trump Did

Dan Anderson/ZUMA

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Since Donald Trump is once again boasting about his semi-ban on travel from China, I’d like to remind everyone of something that seems to have disappeared down the memory hole. Here is the New York Times on January 31:

Moving to counter the spreading coronavirus outbreak, the Trump administration said Friday that it would bar entry by most foreign nationals who had recently visited China and put some American travelers under a quarantine as it declared a rare public health emergency. The temporary restrictions followed announcements by American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines that they would suspend air service between the United States and China for several months.

Trump didn’t act until after the three biggest American airlines, along with nearly every other international airline, had already suspended flights to China. In other words, when it didn’t really matter anymore. He didn’t have the guts to do it before then.

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"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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