The White House has banned foreign nationals who visited Brazil in the last two weeks from seeking entry to the United States, after the number of coronavirus cases there soared to world’s second, after the US.
The move would ensure that “foreign nationals who have been in Brazil do not become a source of additional infections in our country,” US President Donald Trump’s press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement on Sunday.
The newly-unveiled measure will affect only the movement of people, and not goods, McEnany said.
“These new restrictions do not apply to the flow of commerce between the United States and Brazil”
The ban, which is similar to the one the Trump administration imposed on foreign arrivals from China early February, comes as South America has become the new hotspot of the deadly disease and shortly after Brazil climbed to the second place in the number of confirmed infections, trailing only the US itself.
According to the tally by Johns Hopkins University (JHU), Brazil reported some 347,398 coronavirus cases as of Sunday, which is about three thousand more than in Russia, where the spread of the virus has been slowing down.
With Brazil climbing to the near-top of the global coronavirus chart, the country’s president, Jair Bolsonaro has come increasingly under fire for allegedly flouting the social distancing guidelines put out by the Brazil health ministry.
On Saturday, Bolsonaro was spotted eating out at the country’s capital, Brasília. Videos that have circulated on social media showing him buying a hot dog and a bottle of coke from a street vendor and then feasting on the treats right on the spot.
Yes, Jair Bolsonaro clearly won the popular vote. But his approval is in free fall and yesterday an angry mob tried to kill him while he was eating a hot dog. pic.twitter.com/OxNlok7sN0
— Oliver Darko (@oliver_drk) May 24, 2020
The sight of Bolsonaro (who was donning a mask, but pushed it down for the occasion) devouring his food and sipping from the can, has sparked immediate backlash and saw many accusing the president of setting a bad example amidst a health crisis.
Bolsonaro’s supporters have dismissed the incident as a nothingburger, accusing the president’s detractors of overreacting, while pointing to his still relatively high approval rating, which, however, has slipped some 9 points since January, dropping to below 40 percent this month.
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