Trump Considering Coronavirus Travel Ban on Brazil
In Cabinet Meeting remarks on Tuesday, President Donald Trump said he is considering a travel ban on Brazil to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. The remarks came the same day the administration announced it was extending border crossing restrictions with Canada and Mexico.
Here’s the exchange between Trump and a reporter yesterday focusing on a travel ban:
Q Are you finally considering a travel ban from — from Brazil and Latin America?
TRUMP: We are considering it. We hope that we’re not going to have a problem…Brazil has gotten more or less “herd.” You know what that is — herd. And they’re having problems.
The President continued later on when asked about Brazilians bringing their cases to the U.S.:
TRUMP: I don’t want people coming in here and infecting our people. I don’t want people over there sick either.
The White House previously placed a travel ban on China during the early days of the pandemic. In March, President Trump placed a travel ban on European travelers. Currently, the State Department warns all Americans to avoid any international travel. Americans also face difficulty traveling to other countries. Countries around the world have restricted Americans from traveling to their countries, given the United States’ severe outbreak.
Coronavirus in Brazil
Brazil is quickly becoming the next big coronavirus epicenter. Brazil has the third-highest rate of infections in the world, second only to the United States and Russia. As of Wednesday morning, the country had 271,885 cases and 17,983 deaths.
The country’s President, Trump ally Jair Bolsonaro, is a coronavirus skeptic. The President originally referred to the virus as, “a little cold.” After the first 5,000 deaths in Brazil, the President’s response was “So what?” Last week, the President was seen jet skiing as the nation passed the 10,000 death mark.
The country is also struggling with social distancing standards, as only an estimated 40-55 percent of Brazilians are actually social distancing. Brazil also has dense cities and a healthcare system struggling to keep up with the demand of the virus. All of those factors have made the country a hotbed for coronavirus.
Of course, President Trump often says things don’t necessarily become policy. He also has a close relationship with President Bolsonaro, so it’s unknown if that relationship will impact the final decision he makes on this issue. But as two other world spots grew, China and Europe, the White House imposed travel bans. So there is a possibility the President will put one in place.