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Chad Wolf, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security and Mark Short gaggles took place back-to-back outside on-camera after TV hits.
Acting Secretary Wolf spoke briefly, the headline was appearing to confirm that the travel restrictions in effect with the Canadian border will be expanded to Mexico.
He spoke first about Americans abroad who may want to get home.
“There’s a lot of commercial flights out there,” Wolf said, noting both U.S. and foreign carriers are operating.
“There are certain countries where they are locking down their borders and U.S. citizens will find themselves in those countries. So the State Department is certainly facilitating that, just like they did in China, but I would encourage all Americans that are back overseas –they see the travel restriction, you don’t have to get on the plane right away. We don’t need s mad rush into our airports. We’re going to screen you, we’re going to take you.”
“We’re looking at both our Northern and our Southern borders to put some restrictions on the travel across that border.”
“We’re working with both our Canadian partners as well as our Mexican partners to put some restrictions on the travel across that border, really looking at limiting non-essential travel across that border. We want to make sure that cargo continues, trade continues, health care workers continue to be able to traverse that border.”
Marc Short, the chief of staff to the vice president, came to the stakeout position after Wolf.
Short was asked about the decision by the Florida governor to close beaches
“I’m not the doctor, so I would certainly defer to them, but I think there’s been different guidance. I think that to the extent that there are large bar scenes, I think that’s something he wants to avoid.”
Said he’s been told that “being out in open air is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s a healthy thing, and the saltwater is healthy too.”
Short also fielded a question about whether or not senators were getting insider information.
“I think that the presentations have been largely where we stand in the health crisis, nothing beyond that,” Short said.
Question about the availability of supplies to states:
“We’re actually encouraged that the partnership with the private-sector can meet many of these needs.”
“I think we’re just asking the states to work with their FEMA administrator to help make sure that the supplies are provided.”
Asked whether governors should be reaching out to the private sector as well.
“They should be doing that too. They should be doing that too.”
Also asked about statewide shutdowns like the one announced in California, and if there’s been administration guidance on that.
“We have not provided additional instruction to encourage states to have statewide shutdowns. If that’s something the governor feels that’s in the interest of his people we respect that decision, but that’s not guidance to the states.”
As for the schedule note: there are no public events on the President’s schedule today, though there’s an 11:45 a.m. task force briefing.
The President also has a scheduled lunch with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and an afternoon phone call with small business owners in the Oval Office that, as of now, is listed as closed press.
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