Waiting and worrying at the airport in Manila. Photo: Ezra Acayan/Getty Images

China reacted furiously today to a U.S. decision to deny entry to all foreign nationals who had been to China in the past two weeks, denouncing it as a violation of WHO advice that would only spread fear.

The big picture: Some public health experts warn that travel bans are ineffective in fighting outbreaks and discourage international cooperation and transparency. But several governments are now employing them amid the coronavirus outbreak.

  • Any American who visited Hubei province over the past two weeks, meanwhile, will be quarantined for up to 14 days.

The global picture: Australia is also barring foreigners who recently visited China, and it has evacuated citizens from Wuhan to remote Christmas Island.

  • Other countries are denying entry to foreigners traveling directly from China (Japan, South Korea), while still more have suspended flights from China (Indonesia, the U.K., Italy), per the BBC.

Russia, which has been carefully tightening its bond with China, took the politically delicate step of closing most of its shared border to people (but not goods).

  • Mongolia also closed its border with China, giving citizens until Feb. 6 to return home.

Hong Kong's position is perhaps most sensitive of all.

  • Carrie Lam, the city's Beijing-friendly leader, said today that she'd close more border checkpoints but not meet the demands of striking hospital workers to close the border entirely.

But some Southeast Asian countries have seemed to focus their public responses on not provoking China, the NY Times reports.

  • "In Cambodia, Prime Minister Hun Sen told a packed news conference on Thursday that he would kick out anyone who was wearing a surgical mask because such measures were creating an unwarranted climate of fear. 'The prime minister doesn’t wear a mask,' he said, 'so why do you?'"
  • Officials from the Philippines had also downplayed the threat but changed course after the first death was reported there.

Go deeper: Virus tests China's system

Go deeper

The national security risks hiding in Trump's debts

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The blockbuster New York Times report on President Trump’s taxes reveals that the president is $421 million in debt, with more than $300 million coming due during Trump’s potential second term — and the identities of the president’s creditors remain unknown.

Why it matters: If some, or all, of this debt is held by foreign actors, it raises serious national security implications.

9 mins ago - World

House report: U.S. intelligence agencies have failed to adapt to China threat

Xi Jinping and other Chinese politicians and delegates listen to the national anthem duirng the closing of the 19th Communist Party Congress in 2017. Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

The House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday released a report finding that the U.S. intelligence community has failed to adapt to the growing threat from China, arguing that it will struggle to compete on the global stage for decades to come if it does not implement major changes.

The big picture: The 200-page report, based on thousands of analytic assessments and hundreds of hours of interviews with intelligence officers, determined that the intelligence community's focus on counterterrorism after 9/11 allowed China "to transform itself into a nation potentially capable of supplanting the United States as the leading power in the world."

Updated 12 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Tim Scott says Trump "misspoke" when he told Proud Boys to "stand by"

Photo: Bonnie Cash/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) told reporters on Wednesday that he believes President Trump "misspoke" when he told the far-right "Proud Boys" group to "stand back and stand by" in response to a question about condemning white supremacy at the first presidential debate.

Catch up quick: Moderator Chris Wallace asked Trump on Tuesday, "Are you willing, tonight, to condemn white supremacists and militia groups and to say that they need to stand down?" Trump asked who specifically he should condemn, and then responded, "Proud Boys, stand back and stand by. But I'll tell you what, somebody's got to do something about antifa and the left."