in reaction to  ~を受けて、~に対して
defend 擁護する,支持する

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide has risen to over 200,000.
In the United States, President Donald Trump permits fast production of important goods- including face mask- with private factories under the Degfense Production Act.
Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic renew border checks after barring foreigners from entering but permitting cargo transportation to continue.
And, the Chinese government defends its decision to expel at least 12 American reporters in reaction to a new llimit the United States put on Chinese reporters in the U.S.