U.S. President Donald Trump has said he is considering barring entry to flights coming from Brazil due to the spread of COVID-19 in Latin America’s hardest-hit country. It was the second time Trump has said he is studying such a measure.
“I don’t want people coming in here and infecting our people. I don’t want people over there sick either. We’re helping Brazil with ventilators. We’re sending them ventilators,” Trump told reporters during a Cabinet meeting at the White House.
Hours later Brazil reported more than a thousand deaths from the disease for the first time in a 24-hour period. The health ministry’s announcement of 1,179 deaths on Tuesday boosted the nation’s death toll to 17,971. Brazil has 271,628 confirmed cases, the third most in the world after Russia and the U.S.
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro, who like Trump has previously downplayed the disease and encouraged supporters to go back to work, neither responded to Trump’s remarks nor commented on the record daily figure.
Also on Tuesday, the U.S. government announced it was offering Brazil $3 million to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. The Trump administration has already pledged $950,000 to Brazil in efforts against the pandemic. The resources will be used in 79 emergency centers for COVID-19, laboratories and in the health care system of 13 border cities.