Coronavirus: Mnuchin says ‘it’s a great time to explore America’ despite CDC travel warning

‘Too hard to tell’ if international travel will be opening up again this year, says Mnuchin

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Tuesday 05 May 2020 17:00
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Steve Mnuchin urges people to travel despite CDC warning

Despite an exploding number of coronavirus cases and a mounting death toll, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin would like Americans to hit the road and see more of the country.

“It’s a great time for people to explore America,” Mr Mnuchin said on Fox Business News on Monday. “A lot of people haven’t seen many parts of America. I wish I could get back on the road soon.”

Unfortunately, the treasury secretary’s wish contradicts advice from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which has a firm stance against all nonessential travel to curtail the spread of Covid-19.

“CDC recommends you stay home as much as possible, especially if your trip is not essential,” the agency says. “Travel increases your chances of getting and spreading Covid-19.”

Indeed the agency’s website begins every section of its travel advice page reminding people to stay home as much as possible. Road trips to the Grand Canyon or Mount Rushmore are certainly not advised and even camping is not recommended.

Mr Mnuchin was being interviewed by Maria Bartiromo about the Paycheck Protection Program and ways in which the economy was being opened back up.

He earlier said: “The president is also looking about ways to stimulate travel, again we want people to travel safely, to be able to visit places safely, so as the economy opens up I think you’ll see demand coming back.”

The comments about seeing more of America were made in response to a question as to whether international travel would be opening up again this year.

“Too hard to tell at this point … I hope down the road it is. Our priority is opening up the domestic economy. Obviously for business people that do need to travel there will be travel on a limited basis,” he said.

On Monday the total number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the US reached 1.21 million, and the death toll stood at 69,680.

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