Trump to Consider Domestic Air Travel Ban for 30 Days


"We are looking at the whole thing," said Trump regarding a domestic air shutdown.

At the urging of Senator Lindsey Graham, Trump Considers Domestic Air Travel Restrictions.

President Donald Trump said Wednesday he’s “certainly looking at” potentially restricting air travel between some U.S. cities, especially those with significant numbers of coronavirus cases, but conceded that would create yet more pain for the already-hobbled airline sector.

“It's a very, very rough decision,” Trump said Wednesday evening at a press briefing. “We are thinking about hot spots where you go from spot to spot — both hot. We will let you know fairly soon.”

Asked during the same briefing if he was considering a broader ban or more targeted restrictions, Trump said: “We're looking at the whole thing,” and suggested the administration would offer recommendations soon.

Air travel is down dramatically in the last few weeks, with the TSA recording fewer than 200,000 travelers passing through its checkpoints per day this week, compared to more than 2 million at the same time last year. On Tuesday, it reported screening just 146,348 travelers, a ten-year low.

Rail travel is also severely limited, with Amtrak reporting record cancellations and low bookings, which has forced reductions on many of its routes. Trump said he was considering “similar” restrictions on railroads between virus hot spots.

My how far we have come from Trump proclaiming we have 15 coronavirus cases and soon heading to zero.

What about the hoax?

Trump denies he called the coronavirus a hoax. He says it was the Democrats response to it that was the hoax.


Where's the hoax of any kind?

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (89)
No. 1-23

Easy to fault Trump. Lots of video of his detractors criticizing him early on for halting flights from China, etc.

He should have done more, but their criticism (and the MSM's as well) didn't help. Now, of course, they're all geniuses and saw it coming.

The facts tell a far different story...


Hey Mish, can you compare the US number with India numbers? You wrote a few weeks back about how bad it's going to be in India. Why don't you stop being part of fear-mongering? I was a big fan, now I see the reality, will still read your blogs purely on economics and finance, but not pandemic or politics. UK already declared Covid-19 not being HCID, the real numbers are not so Covid-19 for the layoffs, or the layoffs for the Covid-19, like chocken and egg problem, I know what would be your least a mask has been dropped!


Not a hoax. After "social distancing" and quarantine knock this wave down, what then? A permanent state of emergency? Why does no one talk about the end game??? There is still only a small fraction of a percent of us that have been infected. Until there is a vaccine 18 months from now or a treatment, perhaps sooner, this will not end.

Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett

If ban then another hit to oil.

Of course, oil rallying hard this morning on following POTUS tweet:

"Just spoke to my friend MBS (Crown Prince) of Saudi Arabia, who spoke with President Putin of Russia, & I expect & hope that they will be cutting back approximately 10 Million Barrels, and maybe substantially more which, if it happens, will be GREAT for the oil & gas industry!"


Really? They'll cut production ... and not US?

Just looked at EIA's most recent weekly production numbers ... US well ahead of last year's production number for comparable week.

So, THEY will cut ... while US continues merrily along ... reaping benefits of higher prices ... sure, sure ...


Trump claims Russia and Saudi have agreement on oil cuts. Oil spikes. They deny. Seems like a repeat of the Chinese trade deal.


So, let me think about this: I'm pumping crude out of the ground and burning my dwindling cash with every barrell. Now, with the drastic reduction in worldwide economic activity, I'm suddenly also rapidly running out of any place to put my crude.

Some guy slips a note under the door suggesting that I consider production cuts.

Hadn't thought about it; I'll discuss it with my policy wonks.


Why order a shutdown?
It will happen organically.


Even a modicum of imagination would be helpful just now: If you were a virion on a suicide mission to find a new host within a few hours, would you prefer to travel by foot or on board a 737? Excellent!
Now, if you were the same virion clinging to a grocery store shopping cart handle, would you prefer to see every shopper with or without an N95 mask and gloves? Think carefully; Your life may depend on it.


I don't see the point at this point. We are 2-4 weeks from the (first) peak by some estimates, how is stopping the few flights remaining going to make a difference overall? No one is flying out of New York to visit grandma in Ohio.

Frankly this is starting to smell like: stop the virus from spreading to one more person AT ANY COST. Which is dumb. Smart is: always weigh the costs.


Why Was It So Hard to Raise the Alarm on the Coronavirus?
The nations that took the most aggressive actions, most quickly, have fared best, and those that have moved cautiously, waiting for undeniable prompts to action, have done worst.


Tesla's donated "ventilators" are actually old BiPAP machine (Resmed C9)....


In hindsight we could have dramatically slowed the pandemic here and cut our economic damage by a huge amount by Trump halting all human traffic in and out of the country and forced anybody coming in to quarantine for 14 days back in late Jan when it was obvious to anyone with a half a brain China had a huge problem on their hands. The howls from the brain-dead masses, congress, press, corp sector would have been legendary. Hell, Trump might even have been removed from office only to be exonerated 5-6 weeks later as Italy was over-run.


Up here in Canada (Quebec) we are taking the whole thing far more seriously. Now travel has been reduced between the regions. This morning I was driving 20 miles from home and was stopped twice by police officers asking where i was going and why, at least two automobiles were "turned back" by the police. Social distancing has been a thing here for nearly three weeks. Yet the number of coronavirus keeps on rising.


Trump negotiated oil production cuts so prices can stay higher. More winning.


No politician ever leads; They follow, but from the front. It's where the cameras are.

The time for useful, valuable leadership would have been 2005, when it became apparent that the world had dodged a bullet on SARS and desperately needed a virus antigen shift warning system in place before the next shift occurred. Our "leaders" wasted the fifteen years, and here we sit with the next one killing us off in growing numbers.
I'm a firm believer that we, the people, do indeed ultimately get the government we deserve. A few months from now, when this thing has killed and maimed it's quota, will we, the people, have learned our lesson and shout down any political hack trying to peddle, whatever, as more important than an effective worldwide pandemic warning system...or not?


Feds will not come to the rescue

...there are only about 9,500 ventilators remaining in the Strategic National Stockpile and that by the week of April 13, the Supply Chain Task Force will have acquired only about 3,200 more. FEMA reported that most of the 100,000 ventilators promised by President Trump will not be available until late June at the earliest.....

.....FEMA recommended that medical professionals preserve, optimize, and re-use personal protective equipment. The briefer acknowledged that reusing this equipment increases the risk that health care providers will be infected with coronavirus, but asserted that this step is “critical” given current shortages.....

...On March 30, HHS admitted that the Department knew as early as mid-January based on 2015 models that the United States would not have enough N95 respirator masks to respond to an infectious disease outbreak. HHS and FEMA officials were not able to provide specific timelines about when additional equipment and supplies would be procured by the federal government and made available to states....

... FEMA pushed back on suggestions that the Administration should take a more active role in procurement, saying that FEMA “attempting to replace private sector supply chains does not work” and that the agency is instead helping the private sector supply chain “adapt.” ...


How is this more effective than having everyone wear masks, especially in places like grocery stores, airports and planes?


Here's an interesting story:

A Coronavirus Fix That Passes the Smell Test
What if a Wall Street veteran has a way to track how fast the virus is spreading before lab tests can ramp up?
By Michael Lewis
April 1, 2020, 5:00 AM EDT


A timeline of Trump and Covid-19

In early 2018, Julia Belluz argued that Trump was “setting up the US to botch a pandemic response” by, for example, forcing US government agencies to retreat from 39 of the 49 low-income countries they were working in on tasks like training disease detectives and building emergency operations centers.

Instead of taking such warnings to heart, later that year, “the Trump administration fired the government’s entire pandemic response chain of command, including the White House management infrastructure,” according to Laurie Garrett, a journalist and former senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations.

When Trump was first warned about this virus by his intelligence experts in January, he dismissed it. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar could not get Trump to listen to his warning in January. Trump instead wanted to discuss vaping. Throughout the rest of January he ignored warnings from White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and others.

The CDC confirmed the virus first appeared in a 35 year old man in Washington State on January 20.

When asked by the media about the threat to the US from CV, Trump said:

Jan. 22: “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China. We have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.” — Trump in a CNBC interview.

Jan. 30: “We think we have it very well under control. We have very little problem in this country at this moment — five — and those people are all recuperating successfully. But we’re working very closely with China and other countries, and we think it’s going to have a very good ending for us … that I can assure you.” — Trump in a speech in Michigan.

Feb. 2: ”We pretty much shut it down coming in from China.”

Feb. 10: “Now, the virus that we’re talking about having to do — you know, a lot of people think that goes away in April with the heat — as the heat comes in. Typically, that will go away in April. We’re in great shape though. We have 12 cases — 11 cases, and many of them are in good shape now.” — Trump at the White House.

Trump’s latest budget proposed huge cuts to the CDC. Even on February 11, Trump was still proposing huge cuts to both CDC and the National Institute of Health.

Feb. 14: “There’s a theory that, in April, when it gets warm — historically, that has been able to kill the virus. So we don’t know yet; we’re not sure yet. But that’s around the corner.” — Trump in speaking to National Border Patrol Council members.

Feb. 22: ”The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC and World Health have been working hard and smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!”

Feb. 23: “We have it very much under control in this country.” — Trump in speaking to reporters.

Feb. 24: “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!” — Trump in a tweet.

On February 25th a top US Health Official warned Americans that this virus would spread in the US.

Feb 25: “Now they have it, they have studied it, they know very much, in fact, we’re very close to a vaccine,” Trump said during a state visit to India

Feb 25: ” CDC and my Administration are doing a Great Job of handling Coronavirus.”

Feb. 26: “So we’re at the low level. As they get better, we take them off the list, so that we’re going to be pretty soon at only five people. And we could be at just one or two people over the next short period of time. So we’ve had very good luck.” — Trump at a White House briefing.

Feb. 26: “And again, when you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that’s a pretty good job we’ve done.” — Trump at a press conference.

Feb. 26: “I think every aspect of our society should be prepared. I don’t think it’s going to come to that, especially with the fact that we’re going down, not up. We’re going very substantially down, not up.” — Trump at a press conference, when asked if “U.S. schools should be preparing for a coronavirus spreading.”

Feb. 26: ”We’re going very substantially down, not up. We have it so well under control. I mean, we have really done a very good job.”

Feb. 26: ”This is the flu. This is like the flu. It’s a little like the regular flu that we have flu shots for. And we’ll essentially have a flu shot for this in a very quick manner.”

Feb. 27: “It’s going to disappear. One day — it’s like a miracle — it will disappear.” — Trump at a White House meeting with African American leaders

Feb. 28: ”We’re ordering a lot of supplies. We’re ordering a lot of, uh, elements that frankly we wouldn't be ordering unless it was something like this. But we’re ordering a lot of different elements of medical.”

The first CV death (a man in his 50s)in the US was on February 29th.

Feb. 29: “And I’ve gotten to know these professionals. They’re incredible. And everything is under control. I mean, they’re very, very cool. They’ve done it, and they’ve done it well. Everything is really under control.” — Trump in a speech at the CPAC conference outside Washington, D.C.

March 2: "You know, three, four weeks ago, I said, 'Well, how many people die a year from the flu?' And, in this country, I think last year was 36- or 37,000 people. And I'm saying, 'Wow, nobody knew that information.'" -- exchange with reporters at coronavirus meeting with pharmaceutical companies

March 2:"So when you lose 27,000 people a year, nobody knew that. I didn't know that." -- campaign rally in Charlotte, North Carolina

March 2: ”There will be a vaccine relatively soon.” -- campaign rally in Charlotte N. Carolina

March 2: ”You take a solid flu vaccine, you don’t think that it could have an impact, or much of an impact on Corona?”

March 2: ”A lot of things are happening, a lot of very exciting things are happening and they’re happening very rapidly.”

March 4: “[W]e have a very small number of people in this country [infected]. We have a big country. The biggest impact we had was when we took the 40-plus people [from a cruise ship]. … We brought them back. We immediately quarantined them. But you add that to the numbers. But if you don’t add that to the numbers, we’re talking about very small numbers in the United States.” — Trump at a White House meeting with airline CEOs.

March 4: “Well, I think the 3.4% is really a false number.” — Trump in an interview on Fox News, referring to the percentage of diagnosed COVID-19 patients worldwide who had died, as reported by the World Health Organization.

March 4: ”If we have thousands of hundreds of thousands of people that get better, just by, you know, sitting around and even going to work - some of them go to work, but they get better.”

March 5: ”I NEVER said people that are feeling sick should go to work.”

March 5: “Only 129 cases,” he wrote on Twitter.

March 5: ”The United States has, as of now, only 129 cases, and 11 deaths. We are working very hard to keep these numbers as low as possible.”

March 6: "Anybody that wants a test can get a test. That's what the bottom line is." In response to a question about the lack of testing kits.

March 6: "...I hear the numbers are getting much better in Italy." -- exchange with reporters after tour of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

March 6: ”Anybody right now, and yesterday, anybody that needs a test gets a test. And the tests are beautiful. They are perfect, just like the letter was perfect. Right? This was not as perfect as that but pretty good.”

March 6: ” I like this stuff. I really get it. People are surprised that I understand it. Every one of these doctors said, how do you know so much about this? Maybe I have a natural ability. Maybe i should have done that instead of running for president.”

March 6: "We have very low numbers compared to major countries throughout the world. Our numbers are lower than just about anybody." -- exchange with reporters at signing of coronavirus appropriations bill

March 7: “No, I’m not concerned at all. No, we’ve done a great job with it.” — Trump, when asked by reporters if he was concerned about the arrival of the coronavirus in the Washington, D.C., area.

March 8: ”No, I’m not concerned at all. No, I’m not. No, we’ve done a great job.”

March 8: ”We have a perfectly coordinated and fine-tuned plan at the White House for our attack on coronavirus.”

March 9: ”This blindsided the world.”

March 9: “So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!” — Trump in a tweet.

March 10: “And we’re prepared, and we’re doing a great job with it. And it will go away. Just stay calm. It will go away.” — Trump after meeting with Republican senators.

A day later, on March 11, the WHO declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

March 11: "...but we're having to fix a problem that, four weeks ago, nobody ever thought would be a problem." -- March 11 exchange with reporters at coronavirus meeting with bankers

March 13: ”I am officially declaring a national emergency.”

March 13: ”I don’t take any responsibility at all.”

March 15: "This is a very contagious -- this is a very contagious virus. It's incredible. But it's something that we have tremendous control of." -- coronavirus press conference

March 17: ” “I’ve always known this is a real – this is a pandemic. I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic. I’ve always viewed it as very serious.” – press briefing at White House

March 18: “nobody would ever believe a thing like that’s possible” and that it “snuck up on us.”

March 27: ”I don’t believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators.You know, you’re going to major hospitals sometimes, they’ll have two ventilators. And now, all of a sudden, they’re saying, can we order 30,000 ventilators?”

March 27: ”You call it a germ. You can call it a flu. You can call it a virus. I’m not sure anybody knows what it is.”

March 30: ”How do you go from 10 to 20 to 300,000? 10 to 20,000 masks to 300,000? Even though this is different, something's going on and you ought to look into it as reporters. Where are the masks going? Are they going out the back door? How do you go from 10,000 to 300,000 - and we had that in a lot of different places.”


Hotels and short term rentals (vacation) are now closed to non-essential individuals in Connecticut. This means those from out of state must quarantine for 14 days in their 2nd house or at a friend's house.


Mish, get your facts straight: During a Feb. 28, 2020, campaign rally in South Carolina, President Donald Trump likened the Democrats' criticism of his administration's response to the new coronavirus outbreak to their efforts to impeach him, saying "this is their new hoax."

More disinformation


Trump did not call the coronavirus itself a hoax.


They should ban all flights everywhere. Every place in the US is a hotspot. One side note. Airlines are keeping some empty flights so they can force people to rebook rather than refund their money. Case in point. Hawaiian airlines is keeping two flights a day from CA - one from LA and one from SF - to Honolulu so they can refuse to refund those of us who booked flights to other islands(they force a connecting flight instead). They have no one on those flights but they can use this to force thousands of people to reschedule or take a voucher. I’m going to wait them out to see if they’re forced to cancel all flights. I don’t want a voucher that’s only good until December. Southwest is doing the same. We can’t get our money back. It’s a stand off. This virus isn’t going away this year. Hawaii has a forced 14 day quarantine when you arrive so literally no one is going there. Lots of airlines could go bankrupt and then these vouchers are worthless.

Global Economics