President Donald Trump on Sunday issued a proclamation suspending entry to the US for any individual who has been in Brazil within the 14 days immediately prior to their arrival.
“I have determined that it is in the interests of the United States to take action to restrict and suspend the entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of all aliens who were physically present within the Federative Republic of Brazil during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States,” the proclamation reads in part.
The policy is aimed at limiting the spread of the coronavirus. As of Sunday evening, Brazil had more than 347,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, the second most worldwide, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
“Today’s action will help ensure foreign nationals who have been in Brazil do not become a source of additional infections in our country,” White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Sunday. “These new restrictions do not apply to the flow of commerce between the United States and Brazil.”
Some context: Coronavirus has yet to peak in Sao Paulo, Brazil’s largest and worst-infected city, but the health care 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.