Trump said he wants to save jobs and prevent the “Invisible Enemy,” or coronavirus, from entering the U.S. from other countries.
The U.S. currently has the highest number of recorded coronavirus cases of any nation in the world. According to Johns Hopkins University, which keeps a record of COVID-19-related statistics, the U.S. had 786,638 of the 2.5 million cases globally.
The next closest nation was Spain, with 200,210 recorded cases, though China’s total is suspected to be much higher than reported.
While some have accused Trump of being slow to respond to the coronavirus threat, the president frequently cites his decision to ban travel from China as an example of early action.
The Centers for Disease Control announced the first travel-related case of COVID-19 on January 21. Trump unveiled his ban 10 days later, and it took effect on February 2.
On Monday, just hours before announcing the immigration ban, Trump once again touted his China decision, saying that it “was a very hard thing to do”: