At the end of last week, pointing to the coronavirus outbreak, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., called for suspending all flights from China to the U.S.
Noting that the World Health Organization (WHO) designated coronavirus as a global health emergency, Buchanan urged the White House to suspend flights from China.
“We should be taking all reasonable precautions,” Buchanan said. “Temporarily restricting travelers from China is a reasonable response to this growing threat.”
Buchanan’s office insisted the White House has the power to suspend flights.
“Under current law, the secretary of the Department of Transportation may suspend air travel to and from a foreign country if ‘a condition exists that threatens the safety or security of passengers, aircraft, or crew’ and that the suspension is in the public interest. In 2018, the U.S. suspended air travel to and from Venezuela due to unrest and violence,” Buchanan’s office noted.
The Southwest Florida Republican also noted British Airways has already suspended some flights to and from China. Buchanan also doubled down on his calls for the federal government to declare a public health emergency in order for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to have access to more federal funds.
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