Will U.S. Travel Restrictions Do More Harm Than Good Against the Coronavirus?

Will U.S. Travel Restrictions Do More Harm Than Good Against the Coronavirus?
Travelers line up to check in for an American Airlines flight to Los Angeles at Beijing Capital International Airport, Jan. 30, 2020 (AP photo by Mark Schiefelbein).

Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday, WPR Newsletter and Engagement Editor Benjamin Wilhelm curates the week’s top news and expert analysis on China.

China this week accused the United States of fomenting public hysteria over the Wuhan coronavirus, after the Trump administration banned recent travelers from China and warned U.S. citizens to avoid traveling there. The two countries have so far managed to share information on countering the outbreak despite political tensions in their relationship, but America’s sweeping travel restrictions could hamper that cooperation.

As of Wednesday, fatalities from the epidemic had risen to nearly 500, the vast majority of which were in mainland China. The number of confirmed cases has surged to more than 24,000 worldwide. As the virus continues to spread, the Chinese government has come under scrutiny for its initial handling of the outbreak. “At critical moments, officials chose to put secrecy and order ahead of openly confronting the growing crisis to avoid public alarm and political embarrassment,” The New York Times reported.

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