White House Scrambles To Clarify Mistakes In Trump’s Oval Office Speech
President Donald Trump‘s Oval Office address regarding his coronavirus-related travel ban was plagued with errors, forcing White House officials to correct three mistakes he said Wednesday night.
In his address, Trump announced he was banning “all travel from Europe,” except the United Kingdom, in response to the growing coronavirus outbreak.
He noted that “these prohibitions will not only apply to the tremendous amount of trade and cargo, but various other things as we get approval.” The White House quickly clarified that the travel ban “only applies to human beings, not goods and cargo.”
Trump attempted to fix his misstatement on Twitter, where he wrote for people to remember “that trade will in no way be affected by the 30-day restriction on travel from Europe.”
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.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 12, 2020
Trump also failed to mention that the ban would not apply to U.S. citizens, green card holders or immediate family members of U.S. citizens.
Department of Homeland Security’s acting secretary Chad Wolf issued a statement less than an hour after the president’s speech clarifying that people falling into any of these categories would be allowed to return to the U.S.
Wolf also clarified that the ban did not include Ireland, as Trump had only mentioned that the United Kingdom was exempt — both countries have since been added to the travel ban, however.
Trump also falsely claimed private health insurance companies agreed to provide free coronavirus treatment.
“Earlier this week I met with the leaders of health insurance industry who have agreed to waive all co-payments for coronavirus treatments, extend insurance coverage to these treatments, and to prevent surprise medical billing,” he said.
A White House official confirmed to CNN that insurance providers agreed to waive co-payments on testing, but did not agree to provide free treatment.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin insisted Sunday during an interview on ABC’s This Week that Trump did not get “things wrong at all” in his address.
“He wanted to reassure the American public,” Mnuchin said. “I don’t think in an Oval Office address you can address every single issue as you’re discussing it.”