Air China employees at LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal on Feb. 2 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

Nearly 40,000 Americans and authorized travelers have come into the U.S. from China since President Trump imposed travel restrictions more than two months ago, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Trump has suggested that his action to ban foreigners from entering the U.S. if they were in China before early February has contributed to lower COVID-19 cases and fatalities in the U.S.

  • "I cut off China very early. And if I didn’t, we would have a chart that you wouldn’t believe," Trump said at a briefing on Friday, referring to White House models on where the virus has spread in the U.S. and how many deaths have occurred.

Details: 279 flights from China have arrived in the U.S. since Trump's travel restrictions were announced, "and screening procedures have been uneven," the Times notes.

The big picture: At least 430,000 people have flown to the U.S. from China since Dec. 31, when China first informed the World Health Organization about cases of novel coronavirus in Wuhan, the Times reports.

  • Most passengers arrived in January at airports in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Newark, Chicago and Detroit.
  • "Thousands of them flew directly from Wuhan," the original epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, per the NYT.

Go deeper... Timeline: The early days of China's coronavirus outbreak and cover-up

Go deeper

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