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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

“You blew it”: GOP activist turns on corporations over vaccine mandates

The chairman of the American Conservative Union said on "Axios on HBO" he accepts "Joe Biden is my president, and I want him to succeed," but predicted Republicans retake the House and Senate in 2022 — with greater than 50% odds Donald Trump runs in 2024.

The big picture: In a joint interview with his wife, Mercedes, Matt Schlapp also refused to share their vaccination status. And he told corporate America "you blew it" by embracing vaccine mandates and liberal social stances that have alienated GOP voters and politicians.

38 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Pelosi expects “billionaire’s tax” to pay for Biden social spending

Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Sunday she expects the chamber to pass the bipartisan infrastructure plan by week’s end, and alternatives to corporate tax hikes and a “billionaires tax” will be used to finance President Biden’s promised expansion to the social safety net.

Why it matters: Pelosi’s comments come as House and Senate leaders try to wrap up a deal. What will get cut — and how the remainder will be paid — are linchpins to a final agreement.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
39 mins ago - Axios on HBO

FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried mystified by value of NFTs

Crypto exchange FTX, valued last week at $25 billion, recently launched an NFT marketplace by selling an image of the word "Test" for $270,000.

  • FTX founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried tells "Axios on HBO" that he doesn't quite understand the appeal, but adds that he doesn't personally appreciate many visual arts.