Trump barred non-US citizens from traveling from China, but there were 11 exceptions, and Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan were not included. US citizens and permanent residents could still travel from China but were subject to screening and possible 14-day quarantine. Some flights were immediately suspended, but others continued for weeks, at the discretion of the airlines. ...Trump also claims: "When I did China, it had never been done before. I was the first one to do it."
The New York Times calculated that at least 430,000 people arrived in the United States on direct flights from China since Jan. 1, including nearly 40,000 in the two months after Trump imposed restrictions. Moreover, screening proceedings of travelers from China have been uneven and inconsistent, the Times said.
That's not even close to the truth. A total of 50 countries took action before or at the same time as the US. However, the measures that 12 of those 50 countries took were not as sweeping as what the US did. That still leaves 38 countries ahead of Trump and the US. (List below)
Trump has bragged repeatedly about this decision, but he did not restrict travel from Europe for six additional weeks, and that mistake was the cause of most of New York's cases. (To date, New York has had more than 252,000 cases and about 19,000 deaths.) Trump cannot point to anything positive that he did from February 1 to March 12, despite being first warned about the virus in mid-November 2019.
Trump has also steadily exaggerated the number of lives that he supposedly "saved" by his "ban-that-was-not-a-ban":
March 13, 2020:
Tony has said numerous times that we've saved thousands of lives because of the quick closing.March 21, 2020:
I just read an article yesterday that, by closing the country down so early — we were very early — we saved tens of thousands — and much more than that — lives.April 13, 2020:
When, on January 31st, I instituted the ban … Every Democrat thought I made a mistake when I did it. I saved tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of lives, by doing that.April 17, 2020:
Four or five weeks ago, we were at a level that nobody had ever attained … And then one day, they said, "You got to close it up." And we did the right thing. We saved maybe millions of lives by doing it the way we did it.Anyone want to guess when Trump will claim to have saved "billions of lives" or when his estimate is greater than the population of the planet (7.78 billion)?
A List Of When Countries Imposed Significant Restrictions On Travel From China
January 24: Marshall Islands
January 25: North Korea
January 27: Hong Kong, Philippines
January 29: Singapore, Papua New Guinea
January 30: Bahamas, Maldives, Trinidad and Tobago, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Rwanda, El Salvador, Guyana, Iran, Italy, Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, Turkmenistan, Morocco, Solomon Islands, Micronesia, Kiribati
February 1: Australia, Egypt, Kyrgyzstan, Palau, Uzbekistan, St. Kitts and Nevis, Vietnam
February 2: Fiji, New Zealand, Grenada, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel, Mauritius, United States (Announced January 31, Effective February 2)