Editor's note for Friday, January 31, 2020 - SupChina
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Editor’s note for Friday, January 31, 2020

Dear Access member,

A day after the World Health Organization declared the 2019-nCoV outbreak a public health emergency of international concern, the Trump administration is taking the very on-brand action of temporarily barring all foreigners coming from China. All U.S. citizens must undergo a 14-day quarantine (with different regulations depending on where they came from in China), but foreigners are completely banned. Read on below for more.

Ironically but unsurprisingly, this action would appear to directly run counter to WHO’s advice that there is no reason to “unnecessarily interfere with international travel and trade.” If a 14-day quarantine is the appropriate action to monitor the health of U.S. citizens, why isn’t it also appropriate for non-U.S. citizens?

Our word of the day is too unkind (太不厚道 tài bù hòudao). This was the relatively measured way that the Chinese foreign ministry described (in Chinese; the official English translation, “certainly not a gesture of goodwill,” is even more gentle) a new State Department “Do Not Travel” advisory and some abhorrent comments by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. I wonder what they will say in the coming days about the total travel ban.

—Lucas Niewenhuis, Newsletter Editor

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Lucas Niewenhuis

Lucas Niewenhuis is an associate editor at SupChina who helps curate daily news and produce the company's newsletter, app, and website content. Previously, Lucas researched China-Africa relations at the Social Science Research Council and interned at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. He has studied Chinese language and culture in Shanghai and Beijing, and is a graduate of the University of Michigan.

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