US STRONG news – Washington, DC: The White House reports 1.31.2020

The United States has confirmed cases of individuals who have a severe acute respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus (“2019-nCoV”) (“the virus”) first detected in Wuhan, Hubei Province, People’s Republic of China (“China”).  The virus was discovered in China in December 2019.  As of January 31, 2020, Chinese health officials have reported approximately 10,000 confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV in China, more than the number of confirmed cases of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) during its 2003 outbreak.  An additional 114 cases have been confirmed across 22 other countries; in several of these cases, the infected individuals had not visited China.  More than 200 people have died from the virus, all in China.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses.  Some cause illness in people and others circulate among animals, including camels, cats, and bats.  Animal coronaviruses are capable of evolving to infect people and subsequently spreading through human-to-human transmission.  This occurred with both Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and SARS.  Many of the individuals with the earliest confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV in Wuhan, China had some link to a large seafood and live animal market, suggesting animal-to-human transmission.  Later, a growing number of infected individuals reportedly did not have exposure to animal markets, indicating human-to-human transmission.  Chinese officials now report that sustained human-to-human transmission of the virus is occurring in China.  Manifestations of severe disease have included severe pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, septic shock, and multi-organ failure.

Neighboring jurisdictions have taken swift action to protect their citizens by closing off travel between their territories and China.  On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the 2019-nCoV outbreak a public health emergency of international concern.

Outbreaks of novel viral infections among people are always of public health concern, and older adults and people with underlying health conditions may be at increased risk.  Public health experts are still learning about the severity of 2019-nCoV.  An understanding of the key attributes of this novel virus, including its transmission dynamics, incubation period, and severity, is critical to assessing the risk it poses to the American public.  Nonetheless, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined that the virus presents a serious public health threat.

The CDC is closely monitoring the situation in the United States, is conducting enhanced entry screening at 5 United States airports where the majority of travelers from Wuhan arrive, and is enhancing illness response capacity at the 20 ports of entry where CDC medical screening stations are located.  The CDC is also supporting States in conducting contact investigations of confirmed 2019-nCoV cases identified within the United States.  The CDC has confirmed that the virus has spread between two people in the United States, representing the first instance of person-to-person transmission of the virus within the United States.  The CDC, along with state and local health departments, has limited resources and the public health system could be overwhelmed if sustained human-to-human transmission of the virus occurred in the United States.  Sustained human-to-human transmission has the potential to have cascading public health, economic, national security, and societal consequences.

During Fiscal Year 2019, an average of more than 14,000 people traveled to the United States from China each day, via both direct and indirect flights.  The United States Government is unable to effectively evaluate and monitor all of the travelers continuing to arrive from China.  The potential for widespread transmission of the virus by infected individuals seeking to enter the United States threatens the security of our transportation system and infrastructure and the national security.  Given the importance of protecting persons within the United States from the threat of this harmful communicable disease, I have determined that it is in the interests of the United States to take action to restrict and suspend the entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of all aliens who were physically present within the People’s Republic of China, excluding the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau, during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States.  I have also determined that the United States should take all necessary and appropriate measures to facilitate orderly medical screening and, where appropriate, quarantine of persons allowed to enter the United States who may have been exposed to this virus.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including sections 212(f) and 215(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1182(f) and 1185(a), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, hereby find that the unrestricted entry into the United States of persons described in section 1 of this proclamation would, except as provided for in section 2 of this proclamation, be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and that their entry should be subject to certain restrictions, limitations, and exceptions.  I therefore hereby proclaim the following:

Section 1.  Suspension and Limitation on Entry.   The entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of all aliens who were physically present within the People’s Republic of China, excluding the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau, during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States is hereby suspended and limited subject to section 2 of this proclamation.

Sec. 2.  Scope of Suspension and Limitation on Entry.

(a)  Section 1 of this proclamation shall not apply to:

(i)     any lawful permanent resident of the United States;

(ii)    any alien who is the spouse of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident;

(iii)   any alien who is the parent or legal guardian of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, provided that the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident is unmarried and under the age of 21;

(iv)    any alien who is the sibling of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, provided that both are unmarried and under the age of 21;

(v)     any alien who is the child, foster child, or ward of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, or who is a prospective adoptee seeking to enter the United States pursuant to the IR-4 or IH-4 visa classifications;

(vi)    any alien traveling at the invitation of the United States Government for a purpose related to containment or mitigation of the virus;

(vii)   any alien traveling as a nonimmigrant under section 101(a)(15)(C) or (D) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(C) or (D), as a crewmember or any alien otherwise traveling to the United States as air or sea crew;

(viii)  any alien seeking entry into or transiting the United States pursuant to an A-1, A-2, C-2, C-3 (as a foreign government official or immediate family member of an official), G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, NATO-1 through NATO-4, or NATO-6 visa;

(ix)    any alien whose entry would not pose a significant risk of introducing, transmitting, or spreading the virus, as determined by the CDC Director, or his designee;

(x)     any alien whose entry would further important United States law enforcement objectives, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees based on a recommendation of the Attorney General or his designee; or

(xi)    any alien whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their designees.

(b)  Nothing in this proclamation shall be construed to affect any individual’s eligibility for asylum, withholding of removal, or protection under the regulations issued pursuant to the legislation implementing the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, consistent with the laws and regulations of the United States.

Sec. 3.  Implementation and Enforcement.   (a)  The Secretary of State shall implement this proclamation as it applies to visas pursuant to such procedures as the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, may establish.  The Secretary of Homeland Security shall implement this proclamation as it applies to the entry of aliens pursuant to such procedures as the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, may establish.

(b)  Consistent with applicable law, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Transportation, and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall ensure that any alien subject to this proclamation does not board an aircraft traveling to the United States.

(c)  The Secretary of Homeland Security may establish standards and procedures to ensure the application and implementation of this proclamation at United States seaports and in between all ports of entry.

(d)  An alien who circumvents the application of this proclamation through fraud, willful misrepresentation of a material fact, or illegal entry shall be a priority for removal by the Department of Homeland Security.

Sec. 4.  Orderly Medical Screening and Quarantine.   The Secretary of Homeland Security shall take all necessary and appropriate steps to regulate the travel of persons and aircraft to the United States to facilitate the orderly medical screening and, where appropriate, quarantine of persons who enter the United States and who may have been exposed to the virus.  Such steps may include directing air carriers to restrict and regulate the boarding of such passengers on flights to the United States.

Sec. 5.  Termination.   This proclamation shall remain in effect until terminated by the President.  The Secretary of Health and Human Services shall, as circumstances warrant and no more than 15 days after the date of this order and every 15 days thereafter, recommend that the President continue, modify, or terminate this proclamation.

Sec. 6.  Effective Date.    This proclamation is effective at 5:00 p.m. eastern standard time on February 2, 2020.

Sec. 7.  Severability.    It is the policy of the United States to enforce this proclamation to the maximum extent possible to advance the national security, public safety, and foreign policy interests of the United States.  Accordingly:

(a)  if any provision of this proclamation, or the application of any provision to any person or circumstance, is held to be invalid, the remainder of this proclamation and the application of its provisions to any other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby; and

(b)  if any provision of this proclamation, or the application of any provision to any person or circumstance, is held to be invalid because of the lack of certain procedural requirements, the relevant executive branch officials shall implement those procedural requirements to conform with existing law and with any applicable court orders.

Sec. 8.  General Provisions.   (a)  Nothing in this proclamation shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i)   the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii)  the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b)  This proclamation shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c)  This proclamation is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fourth.

DONALD J. TRUMP