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Trump Administration Expands Travel Ban To UK And Ireland

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U.S. President Donald Trump speaks in the press briefing room at the White House on Saturday. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
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Top news out of today's news briefing:

The U.S. is extending the current ban on travel from Europe to include the U.K. and Ireland, effective midnight Monday.

The travel ban does not apply to American citizens, legal permanent residents, their immediate families, and certain others. These people will be channeled through one of 13 airports equipped to do special screening.

Speaking at the White House, President Trump said he's also considering domestic travel restrictions in response to the spread of coronavirus.

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"If you don't have to travel, I wouldn't do it," Trump said. "We want this thing to end. We don't want a lot of people getting infected."

Trump left a lot of the details to others, but as he initially moved to leave the room, reporters shouted questions. He stayed at the lectern and told the room that he'd had his temperature taken before coming into the room. [Reporters responded that they did too.] He also said he'd been tested for COVID-19 yesterday.

Asked about sending mixed messages yesterday by shaking hands and having multiple people touch the microphone, Trump called it a habit.

He said that before running for office he was never a hand shaker (he's known for being a germaphobe) and he said he thought it might make sense for that ritual to stop long-term, citing the common flu and other illnesses.

At the start of the news conference, he called out California for working well with his administration — a sharp contrast to how he usually talks about the state.

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He said he would use the "full power of the federal government to defeat this virus."

He also called his decision to declare a national emergency on Friday a "very big deal," because it allows for the use of billions of dollars in aid.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, spoke later in the news conference and cautioned that the U.S. has not reached a peak of cases. He said steps taken this week should make a difference in how effective doctors will be treating patients.

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