Trump announces U.S.-Mexico border closure to stem spread of coronavirus

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Sat, 21 Mar 2020 - 09:34 GMT

US-Mexico borders - Reuters

US-Mexico borders - Reuters

WASHINGTON, March 20 (MENA) - US President Donald Trump announced on Friday the US-Mexico border will be closed to nonessential travel to further help stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, USA Today reported.

"As we did with Canada, we're also working with Mexico to implement new rules at our ports of entry to suspend non-essential travel," Trump said. "These new rules and procedures will not impede lawful trade and commerce." Trump said that Mexico is also suspending air travel from Europe.

Trump claimed at his news briefing Friday afternoon that after invoking the Defense Protection Act on Wednesday he had begun using it when the government ordered millions of masks and other supplies.

It is worth mentioning the Defense Protection Act grants presidents extraordinary powers to force American industries to produce medical supplies, materials and equipment that health care workers say are in dire shortage in hospitals across the country.

"We have millions of masks which are coming and will be distributed to the states," Trump said. "The act is very good for things like this."

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US has taken "two important steps" this week to curb the spread of the virus. He noted the border closure with Canada, announced Wednesday, would go into effect at midnight. He said the closure would be reviewed after 30 days and reiterated the news Trump shared that the border with Mexico would also close.

"The United States and Mexico have agreed to restrict nonessential travel across our border," Pompeo said.

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