International arrivals at US airports were thrown into chaos Saturday night as the Trump administration’s poorly arranged coronavirus screenings began for travelers returning from Europe.
Angry tweets pointed the blame at Trump officials for causing the massive lines pushing tens of thousands of people close together for hours – the exact opposite of the recommended social distancing for stopping the spread of coronavirus.
WE ARE BACK IN THE COUNTRY.
AND AT THIS MOMENT, HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE ARRIVING FROM NUMEROUS COUNTRIES ARE JAMMED TOGETHER IN A SINGLE SERPENTINE LINE VAGUELY SAID TO BE ”FOR SCREENING.”
GOOD WORK, AMERICA.
— Tracy Sefl (@tracysefl) March 15, 2020
Paige Hardy, an American student who left behind her graduate studies in London because she feared a broader travel ban, said a series of confusing announcements in the air and upon landing in Dallas led to alarm on the plane late Saturday. She posted a video on Twitter of travelers being asked to raise their hands if they had been in mainland Europe. Because of the delay, she also missed her connecting flight.
“It truly felt like an apocalyptic scenario,” said Hardy, who left many of her belongings in England and was unsure if she would be able to return.
Stephen Miller, Jared Kushner and Donald Trump created *precisely* the infectious disease Petri dish they claimed to be avoiding. Unreal. https://t.co/fIfnYPRoCr
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) March 15, 2020
The New York Times https://t.co/DZNLs0z6CC
— Hopeful Cynic (@PartMoop) March 15, 2020
This is unacceptable. The reactionary, poorly planned travel ban has left thousands of travelers at ORD forced into even greater health risk. @realdonaldtrump and @CBP: no one has time for your incompetence. Fully staff our airport right now, and stop putting Americans in danger. https://t.co/gswIaHwelx
— Mayor Lori Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) March 15, 2020
The federal government needs to get its s@#t together. NOW.
— Governor JB Pritzker (@GovPritzker) March 15, 2020
My son landed at O’Hare after an abrupt end to study abroad. He’s been standing in this pack of people for an hour while waiting to have his temp taken. If he’s not sick now, odds are he will be soon. #coronavirus #travelban #SocialDistancing pic.twitter.com/RMo6SFx1SM
— Christina Clancy (@christi_clancy) March 15, 2020
#BREAKING: Passengers stuck in long lines for immigration at @DFWAirport tell us there are no offers of hand sanitizer, gloves, or masks from U.S. Customs / Immigration. Travelers say they’ve had no screenings of temp yet and no one following #coronavirus protocols. pic.twitter.com/9viCnWdncz
— Jason Whitely (@JasonWhitely) March 15, 2020