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The White House notified airlines it is mulling a temporary ban on flights from China to the U.S. as the deadly coronavirus continues to spread in parts of the world, sources told CNBC on Tuesday.
No timeline on when the flights could be suspended was given.
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The report comes as United Airlines announced Tuesday it is suspending 24 U.S.-China flights, beginning in the first week of February.
The airline said in a statement:
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Due to a significant decline in demand for travel to China, we are suspending some flights between our hub cities and Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai beginning February 1 through February 8. We will continue to monitor the situation as it develops and will adjust our schedule as needed.
Leading the charge to ensure further precautions are taken in the skies is Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), who called on the Trump administration to enact a “targeted travel ban” on China as concerns mount over the virus outbreak.
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Cotton wrote in a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, HSS Secretary Alex Azar, and acting Homeland Security Director Chad Wolfe:
Given the latest developments and the many unknowns about this virus, we ought to follow Benjamin Franklin’s maxim: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. America is blessed with world-leading researchers and laboratories on the cutting edge of medical science and epidemiology. Working in...
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