Corona Crisis

Corona Crisis

Oh my. A careful reading of the Presidential Proclamation limiting travel starting midnight Friday, and Homeland Security’s accompanying brief shows how woefully inadequate and perhaps intentionally baneful the action is.

The limitation does not apply to Americans, green-card holders and a host of others including most NGOs, cargo and health workers, nor of course the crews and staff of airlines or other transport companies. These exemptions put in certain doubt the effectiveness of the ban.

The proclamation as written and widely interpreted will not trigger travel interruption and cancellation insurance for any travelers in the immediate future.

What should travelers do?

Advice this early in the game is something of a crap shoot, but I’m advising my clients to expect unprecedented travel disruption until warm temperatures cover most of North America. When’s that in this surreal world of climate change? Late May? Late June?

Last night’s near comic address as well as the more horribly meaningful cabal of idiots that promulgated the ban is proof enough that a lot more travel disruption is on the way. What’s that? An edict closing down Washington? A full and complete travel ban? That’s, of course, what worries me even as I realize it could help if correctly implemented.

This ban has not been correctly implemented. There is no good epidemiological reason for limiting travel from the Schengen countries while excluding Britain and Trump resorts in Ireland, much less Japan or Korea.

Airlines aren’t waiting for the gavel to fall from the White House. Capacity is being slashed, especially to Europe. This could in itself greatly disrupt existing travel plans.

Harvard has a remarkably useful constant series of notices about the virus, and I believe them when they say that 20-60% of the world will ultimately be infected, but a third of all Americans because we are so horribly unprepared.

W.H.O. officials haven’t commented on Trump’s ban yet, but many medical authorities have: Any travel restriction is considered positive to stemming the virus. The qualifications on Trump’s ban therefore are heinously political.

A true travel ban would trigger trip and cancellation insurance, and I have no doubt that the oligarchs in the White House who are cozy with AIG (the parent company of TravelGuard) know this and structured the qualifications to help AIG, not travelers.

I imagine the same is true in industries with which I’m unfamiliar. But the bottom line is that the travel ban is weak and weakness in times of crisis exposes untold vulnerabilities.

Politicians and government officials throughout Europe are universally livid, even some in the UK who are beginning to realize Trump is trying to further divide them from Europe.

Statement after statement, newspaper after newspaper treat the Trump administration as a developing enemy, concluding that restricting Europe but excluding Britain is absolutely nothing but political.

Coincidentally (?-really) exempting places where Trump’s European resorts are located demonstrates either gross ineptness or pure evil.

Beware America. Last night a Jet Blue plane took off from JFK with a passenger who the crew knew was very sick. The plane was delayed two hours but then left with the passenger tucked into the back of the cabin coughing into a mask. When it landed at Palm Beach, the passenger fessed up that she had tested positive for coronavirus.

This was a few hours after Trump’s proclamations. This American government is the most dangerous in our history.