US President Donald Trump restricts travel from Brazil to curb the spread of coronavirus. Brazil has the second-highest global total of confirmed cases.
Trump’s order was issued on Sunday. The order bans entry to “all aliens” who were in Brazil two weeks prior to their desired entry into the US. The order will take effect on May 28 at 11:59 pm ET.
Last week, Trump said Brazil is not in a good situation. “I don’t want people coming over here and infecting our people. I don’t want people over there sick either. We’re helping Brazil with ventilators … Brazil is having some trouble, no question about it.”
“We hope that’ll be temporary, but because of the situation in Brazil, we’re going to take every step necessary to protect the American people,” said US National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien told CBS’ Face the Nation on Sunday.
“We’re concerned about the people of the Southern Hemisphere, and certainly the people of Brazil. They’re having a rough go of it.”
Brazil is one of the hardest hit countries in the world by the coronavirus pandemic. Brazil reported 347,398 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with a death toll of 22,013, up from 21,048 in the previous 24 hours.
The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that the epicenter of the pandemic has redirected from Europe and the US to South America.
“We’ve seen many South American countries with increasing numbers of cases and clearly there’s a concern across many of those countries, but certainly the most affected is Brazil at this point,” Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s emergencies program, said Friday during a news briefing at the organization’s Geneva headquarters.
Meanwhile, Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro has repeatedly downplayed the virus before. He considered it as a “little flu.” He also criticized stay-at-home orders implemented by governors and considered it a “crime.”
However, Bolsonaro’s own press secretary contracted the virus in March after participating in an event with the Brazilian president and Trump.
Others were alarmed about incident and its effect on the health of Bolsonaro and Trump at the time, though both leaders tested negative for the coronavirus.
Bolsonaro consistently calls for the reopening of commerce and the economy in Brazil. He also promotes the malaria and lupus drug chloroquine even if no research has proven it as an effective COVID-19 treatment.
The Brazilian President, a known ideological ally of Trump, was found supporting protesters in the country’s capital on Sunday. The rally expresses support for the administration as it faces a political scandal.
The scandal is about Bolsonaro being accused by former justice minister Sergio Moro, a popular anti-graft crusader, of interfering in police investigations. This is rooted in the video recording of an April 22 ministerial meeting released by Brazil’s Federal Supreme Court. The video suggests Bolsonaro wanted to change security officials, their supervisors, or even ministers to keep his friends and family from getting “screwed.”
Bolsonaro was surrounded by security guards wearing masks, but he was not wearing one himself. Bolsonaro was shown in a live streaming video on his Facebook page greeting protesters waving Brazilian flags and calling him a “Legend”, days after Brazil topped Russia to become the world’s second-worst virus hot spot after the United States.