National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien said Sunday the administration is likely to announce new restrictions on travel to Brazil.
O’Brien, during an interview with CBS, said the administration is likely to make a decision about restricting travel to Brazil today, and said White House officials “hope that will be temporary.”
He said the White House would “take a look at the other countries on a country by country basis” in that region.
When asked about reporting that the European travel restrictions from mid-March came too late to stop the virus from spreading through the US, O’Brien highlighted President Trump’s decision to restrict some travel to China. O’Brien suggested that US officials were unaware that people traveling through Europe from China could bring Covid-19 to America in the weeks before the European travel restrictions were implemented.
“We didn’t know at the time but we later learned that the Chinese continued to allow people to travel from Wuhan to Europe,” he said.
Some context: Coronavirus has yet to peak in Sao Paulo, Brazil’s largest and worst-infected big city, but the healthcare system is already beginning to break down.
As the crisis deepens and the number of deaths continues to rise, President Jair Bolsonaro is urging businesses to reopen. He opposes many governors who are stressing social distancing measures to slow the spread.
Far from hospitals, Brazil’s indigenous people are dying at an alarming rate. The death toll is double that of the rest of Brazil’s population, according to the advocacy group Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil.