U.S. and Canada Discuss Militarizing the Border Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

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The Trump administration seems is contemplating the potential for sending troops to its border with Canada to stop individuals from crossing into the U.S. exterior designated entry factors amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Speaking at daily briefing on the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed that the potential for border militarization had come up in discussions between U.S. and Canadian officers.

Trudeau mentioned that he his authorities had made clear to U.S. officers that Canada was towards any militarization of what continues to be the “longest unmilitarized border in the world.”

“It is very much in both of our interests for it to remain that way,” Trudeau mentioned.

In an announcement despatched to Newsweek, nevertheless, a senior Trump administration official mentioned the federal government was “considering every option to help slow the spread of the virus, minimize health threats entering the country, and protect Americans while ensuring essential travel for workers, movement of goods, and security of supply chains are not impeded.”

“That is why President Trump has taken comprehensive action with the Governments of Canada and Mexico to protect the health of all three nations as long-standing, trusted partners,” the senior official mentioned.

Despite the Canadian authorities’s clear stance on border militarization, the official mentioned the U.S. “continue to consider additional actions to ensure Federal law enforcement personnel at our borders have the resources and operational support needed to address the profound public health threat of uncontrolled cross-border movement during a pandemic.”

“Protecting our border is a national security priority and without proper precautions, which can only happen through orderly, lawful entry at the borders, the virus could pose greater risk to migrants, travelers, law enforcement personnel, health care professionals, and all Americans,” they mentioned.

“Top U.S. healthcare officials understand that despite our respective guidance on social distancing and sheltering-in-place, the risk of further spread of the virus is too high not to respond in an appropriate and measured way,” the official added.

Trudeau’s feedback and the Trump administration’s response comes after Canadian broadcaster Global News first reported that White House officers had been actively contemplating the potential for deploying troops to frame areas in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The effort would reportedly be geared toward stopping border crossers from making their method into the U.S. exterior designated ports of entry amid the pandemic.

In addition to few individuals truly crossing from Canada into the U.S. exterior designated ports of entry annually, the nation has additionally, to date, skilled considerably decrease numbers of coronavirus circumstances than the U.S.

U.S. and Canada Discuss Militarizing the Border Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
President Donald Trump listens to Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau throughout a gathering at Winfield House, London on December 3, 2019. Trudeau confirmed on Thursday that Canadian officers had mentioned the potential for militarization on the border with U.S. counterparts. NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty

According to a stay tracker maintained by the Johns Hopkins University, as of Thursday afternoon, Canada had seen 3,412 confirmed circumstances of coronavirus, with 36 of circumstances leading to demise.

Compared to the U.S., which had seen almost 69,690 confirmed circumstances of COVID-19 by Thursday afternoon, with 1,049 circumstances ensuing within the demise, Canada’s numbers seem like comparatively low. Trudeau mentioned Canada “will continue to work with the United States to ensure that border measures we put in place are respected,” with the prime minister noting that each international locations had agreed to shut the border briefly to all however “essential travelers.”

“We will continue to work with the American administration to ensure that we’re doing everything we can to keep our country safe and to keep Canadians safe in our case,” he mentioned.

However, the Canadian chief mentioned that his authorities had “highlighted that the fact that the Canada U.S. border is the longest unmilitarized border in the world is something that has benefited our two countries and… economies tremendously.”

“And we feel that it needs to remain that way,” he mentioned.

This article has been up to date with a response from a senior Trump administration official.