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President Trump's decision to restrict travel from China in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus in January was not his idea, journalist Bob Woodward told NBC's "Today."

Why it matters: Trump has frequently cited the restrictions as his go-to defense of the administration's coronavirus response, claiming that it saved "potentially millions of lives." But the assertion that the policy was singularly his idea — and that "almost everybody," including public health experts, was opposed to it — is "very different" from what actually happened, Woodward said.

  • Woodward reports in his forthcoming book "Rage," that the policy was recommended to Trump at a January meeting by some of the top health experts in the administration, including Anthony Fauci, CDC Director Robert Redfield and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.
  • Woodward also notes that there were some holes in the so-called travel "ban," and that thousands of people still traveled from China to the U.S. after the restrictions went into effect.

The big picture: "It is one of those shocks for me, having written about nine presidents, that the president of the United States possessed the specific knowledge that could have saved lives," Woodward said, recalling the warning Trump's advisers gave him in January. "Historians are going to be writing about the lost month of February for tens of years."

What to watch: Woodward had 18 conversations with Trump for the book, which is set to be released Tuesday.

Go deeper: Trump told Woodward "nothing more could have been done" on coronavirus

Go deeper

Updated Nov 29, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: McConnell temporarily halts in-person lunches for GOP caucusColorado Governor and partner test positive.
  3. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in DecemberAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  4. Education: U.S. public school enrollment drops as pandemic persists.
  5. Cities: Surge in cases forces San Francisco to impose curfew — Los Angeles County issues stay-at-home order, limits gatherings.
  6. Sports: NFL bans in-person team activities Monday as crisis engulfs league, Tuesday due to COVID-19 surge — NBA announces new coronavirus protocols.
  7. World: London police arrest more than 150 during anti-lockdown protests — Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
Nov 28, 2020 - Health

U.S. public school enrollment drops as pandemic persists

Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Public schools across the country are seeing a drop in enrollment numbers as schools have shifted to remote and hybrid learning programs to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, the New York Times reports.

The state of play: Some parents are opting to keep their children at home or finding models that provide in-person coursework.

Nov 29, 2020 - Sports

NBA announces new coronavirus protocols

The Los Angeles Lakers play the Miami Heat in Game Six of the 2020 NBA Finals. Photo: Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

The NBA has laid out new coronavirus protocols, including restrictions on when players can return to play after testing positive for COVID-19, ESPN first reported Saturday.

Why it matters: The protocols, which must still be ratified by the league and the National Basketball Players Association, come as players prepare for training camps next week, AP notes. The preseason begins Dec. 11 and the 72-game regular-season starts Dec. 22.