BREAKING: White House slaps travel restrictions on Brazil

Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro (left) head to the White House Rose Garden. Photo: Isac Nóbrega/PR
Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro (left) head to the White House Rose Garden. Photo: Isac Nóbrega/PR

The Trump White is moving to block the entry of non-U.S. citizens coming from Brazil in the past 14 days. Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said the restriction aims at curbing the imported spread of Covid-19.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined that Brazil “is experiencing widespread, ongoing person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2. As of May 23, 2020, the World Health Organization reported that the Federative Republic of Brazil had 310,087 confirmed cases of COVID-19, which is the third-highest number of confirmed cases in the world.”

Earlier today, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien told CBS the ban was likely to come.

On Friday, the World Health Organization declared South America as the new coronavirus epicenter, mainly because of the situation in Brazil and Ecuador. Latin America’s largest country is now second in the total number of Covid-19 cases worldwide after the U.S. It is also second in the number of daily deaths — but with the number of deaths rapidly increasing, it is on the path to take the first place away from the U.S. next week.

Interestingly, President Jair Bolsonaro has taken a leaf out of the Trump playbook for his own Covid-19 approach. Like the U.S. leader, Mr. Bolsonaro has opposed stay-home orders and praised unproven antimalarial drug chloroquine as a “possible cure” against the coronavirus.

Closed borders

On Thursday, Mr. Bolsonaro announced a similar travel ban on foreigners of all origins. The 30-day travel ban, however, came over two months after than those imposed by Brazil’s neighbors.

Disclaimer: this post has been updated at 6:44 pm.

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