Travel bans from coronavirus hotspots are one of the critical components of stopping the spread of COVID-19.
A senior White House adviser just confirmed that the Trump administration will likely implement restrictions on travel from Brazil, as the nation’s outbreak rapidly expands.
“I think that we’ll have a … decision today with respect to Brazil and just like we did with the U.K. and Europe and China, and we hope that’ll be temporary,” said National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien on Sunday.
“But because of the situation in Brazil, we’re going to take every step necessary to protect the American people.”
Brazil now has the second-highest number of coronavirus cases in the world, surpassing Russia with 347,398 reported cases and 22,013 deaths on Friday.
The US still leads the world in coronavirus cases and deaths, with nearly 1.6 million confirmed cases and 96,002 deaths as of Saturday.
O’Brien did not rule out the possibility of further travel bans, telling CBS’s Margaret Brennan that “we’ll take a look at the other countries [in the southern hemisphere] on a country-by-country basis for sure.”
Trump himself alluded to the possibility of expanding travel bans, saying last week that “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. Brazil is having some trouble, no question about it.”