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UNPRECEDENTED: President suspends all travel to Europe, China. Right move. More may be needed. Why? We absolutely must avoid repeating the 1918 pandemic that killed 50 million. Here’s the latest.

Coronavirus-TrumpAddressNation

UPDATE: Read the President’s full remarks.

(Washington, D.C.) — Unprecedented.

That’s the word that keeps coming to mind as I watch this coronavirus crisis unfold.

I’m still moving forward with my book tour, which kicks off next week. And I’d be grateful for your prayers for health and protection as I travel and speak and meet with people all over the country.

Yet clearly the crisis is altering Americans’ behaviors in extraordinary ways.

Yes, we have faced epidemics and pandemics in the past. This is different.

That was a national health emergency, as President Obama rightly declared on October 24, 2009. And yet….

  • It didn’t set into motion never-before-seen actions like banning all travel to or from Europe.
  • It didn’t cause us to ban all travel to and from China.
  • It didn’t cause a run on grocery stores in every state as if we were all about to be hit with a Category 5 hurricane.
  • It didn’t cause concerts, sporting events and so many other events to be canceled.
  • It didn’t cause vast numbers of companies to tell their employees not to come to work. Not to meet in large groups. Not to shake hands. Or get close to one another.
  • It didn’t cause countries like Italy to quarantine the entire country.
  • It didn’t cause countries like Israel to ban all travel to and from the country, or to ask all tourists to leave.

Unprecedented.

I’m nearly 53, and I’ve never seen anything like this. 

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying Washington or the public is over-reacting to the coronavirus pandemic. Many think so. Many are saying this is a hoax, or a media-created crisis. I don’t believe that. This is a real threat to our health and safety. We have to act hard and fast to get ahead of real devastation.

The White House is acting prudently. Before December, the coronavirus had never been known to exist before. It wasn’t even named until January. Now it is fundamentally re-shaping the world in ways we’ve never seen before.

The President’s address to the nation tonight was thoughtful, reassuring, and right on point. I’ve been critical of him at times, but these were the most presidential remarks he has ever made. He has acted fast and smart to protect the American people and economy, thank God. And I was encouraged by the new steps he announced tonight.

What is the President trying to head off? What should we all be trying to avoid? Anything remotely on the scale of the Spanish Flu outbreak of 1918. Consider what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has to say about that horrific pandemic:

“It is estimated that about 500 million people or one-third of the world’s population became infected with this virus. The number of deaths was estimated to be at least 50 million worldwide with about 675,000 occurring in the United States.”

  • Please pray for President Trump, Vice President Pence and all world leaders and health authorities to have the wisdom — and God’s mercy — to save lives and quickly and effectively stop this virus before it becomes a worst-case scenario.
  • Please pray that the Lord would be gracious to those whose jobs and businesses are being adversely affected by the virus.
  • Please pray for God’s mercy on the 120,000+ people (as of tonight) who have already contracted the previously unknown disease for which there is currently no vaccination or unique cure.

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