President Donald Trump instituted a 30-day travel ban to Europe on Wednesday evening in an effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The suspension begins midnight Friday and applies to 26 countries excluding Ireland and Britain.
European leaders expressed disapproval of Trump’s unilateral decision. European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursual von der Leyen said in a joint statement that the disease is “global crisis, not limited to any continent and it requires cooperation rather than unilateral action.”
Investors were also disapproving. Quick reactions led airlines to plummet Thursday morning:
- American Airlines Group Inc (NASDAQ: AAL) plunged 19.4% at time of publication;
- Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE: DAL) 15.4%;
- JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ: JBLU) 16.6%;
- Southwest Airlines Co (NYSE: LUV) 11.7%; and
- United Airlines Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: UAL) 16.7%.
Trump said in his Wednesday address that he would ask Congress to extend financial relief to workers throughout the period and instruct the Treasury Department “defer tax payments without interest or penalties for certain businesses negatively impacted.”
In related news, a passenger on a JetBlue flight has tested positive for the coronavirus after landing in Palm Beach, Florida.