On Monday, May 25, 2020, the White House announced an order to impose two days restrictions on travel to the US from Brazil as the latter country witnessed a sharp rise of the new coronavirus virus cases and the number of the deaths in the South American country surpassed the US daily toll.
The new move of the Trump administration is likely to cause a big concern for right-wing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who has viewed a similar stance with its counterpart, Donald Trump on the virus pandemic and preventive measures.
US Ban Brazil Travelers
A White House statement has changed the timing for the restrictions on Brazil travelers to 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday, May 26 (0359 GMT on Wednesday, May 27) instead of May 28 as in the original announcement on Sunday. The White House did not explain for the move while the US Department of Homeland Security, which oversees immigration issues, has not issued any statement.
Nonetheless, it was obvious that the US had several concerns as the new virus cases were on a sharp rise in Brazil, and two days earlier, Brazil surpassed Russia and took the second spot of the coronavirus hotspot after the US. Washington’s ban applies to foreigners traveling to the United States if they had been in Brazil in the last two weeks.
According to government data, Brazil’s coronavirus deaths reported in the last 24 hours were higher than fatalities in the US for the first time on Monday as Brazil registered 807 deaths and 620 died in the US. According to Reuters tally, Brazil reported 374,898 cases rallying behind the U.S. with 1.637 million while the total deaths in the US have reached 97,988 compared with Brazil at 23,473.
A Heavy Blow to Brazilian President
Washington’s latest move to impose travel ban was a blow to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who has followed a similar stance on the issues related to the pandemic with the US President Trump. Like Trump, Bolsonaro has also underestimated the gravity of the pandemic situation in the country by calling the novel coronavirus a “little cold.” In the early stages, Trump said he believed the virus would soon go away.
The White House said the travel ban on Brazil was aimed at preventing foreign nationals from spreading additional infections to the US but claimed that the ban would not apply to the flow of trade and commerce between the two countries.
Creomar de Souza, at Brasilia-based consultancy Dharma Political Risk and Strategy, expressed a view referring to the recent US ban, “It undermines Bolsonaro’s claim to have built a relationship with Trump and Brazil is now seen as a privileged ally of the United States.” Nonetheless, Trump’s national security adviser, Robert O’Brien stated that he hoped the ban would be temporary.
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