- European officials were "blindsided" by President Donald Trump's announcement of travel restrictions between the US and Europe,CNN reported on Wednesday.
- Trump announced on Wednesday that the US will ban all travel from 26 European countries by non-US citizens, permanent residents, or some family members of US citizens and permanent residents for thirty days.
- He added that the "prohibitions will not only apply to the tremendous amounts of trade and cargo, but various other things as we get approval. Anything coming from Europe to the United States is what we are discussing."
- Multiple European ambassadors in Washington, DC, weren't given a heads up about Trump's announcement even though they were in touch with the administration over the past few days, CNN reported.
- The State Department also didn't know the exact details of what Trump was going to announce.
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European countries were caught off guard by US President Donald Trump's announcement of travel restrictions between the US and Europe, CNN reported on Wednesday.
On Wednesday evening, Trump addressed the nation and detailed several steps the US will take as it grapples with the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump said the US will ban all travel from 26 European countries for thirty days - with exceptions for US citizens, permanent residents, and some immediate family members of US citizens or permanent residents.
He added that the "prohibitions will not only apply to the tremendous amounts of trade and cargo, but various other things as we get approval. Anything coming from Europe to the United States is what we are discussing."
But the White House and the president himself scrambled to clarify his comments as futures tanked in response to his announcement.
"Hoping to get the payroll tax cut approved by both Republicans and Democrats, and please remember, very important for all countries & businesses to know that trade will in no way be affected by the 30-day restriction on travel from Europe. The restriction stops people not goods," Trump tweeted, contradicting his earlier remarks.
CNN reported that multiple European ambassadors in Washington, DC, weren't given a heads up about Trump's announcement even though they were in touch with the administration over the past few days. Instead, they were only told after the fact.
The State Department also didn't know the exact details of what Trump was going to announce, CNN reported.
US stock futures and markets around the world slid after Trump's announcement as concerns about the economic fall out from the coronavirus pandemic continued to dominate. Futures for the three major US indexes were down sharply in after-hours trading with S&P 500, Nasdaq, and Dow Jones industrial average futures all down more than 4.5%.
Futures do not correlate directly with trading during regular hours, but the slides came just hours after the Dow officially fell into bear market territory, meaning the index was down 20% from its recent heights.
The move ended the longest bull market run in history for the index, which start on March 9, 2009. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq were just short of entering bear markets.
The World Health Organization officially classified coronavirus, which leads to a disease called COVID-19, as a pandemic on Wednesday. More than 125,000 people have been infected across the globe and there have been more than 4,500 deaths.
At least 1,240 people in 42 states and Washington, D.C., have tested positive for coronavirus, according to The New York Times, and at least 37 patients with the virus have died.
The veteran actor Tom Hanks announced in a statement Wednesday evening that he and his wife, Rita Wilson, have tested positive for the virus after traveling to Australia, where there are 128 confirmed cases of the illness.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) also suspended its season on Wednesday after Utah Jazz centre Rudy Gobert tested positive for coronavirus.
The NBA made the decision after a game between the Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder was called off, though the sequence of events was unclear. ESPN's Royce Young reported that prior to tip-off, a team doctor sprinted out onto the court to speak to team officials.
Bob Bryan contributed to this report.
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