Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

US President Donald Trump takes questions during a press conference on the COVID-19, coronavirus, outbreak at the White House in Washington, DC on February 29, 2020. - The number of novel coronavirus cases in the world rose to 85,919, including 2,941 deaths, across 61 countries and territories by 1700 GMT on Saturday, according to a report gathered by AFP from official sources. (Photo: Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images)

US President Donald Trump takes questions during a press conference on the COVID-19, coronavirus, outbreak at the White House in Washington, DC on February 29, 2020. - The number of novel coronavirus cases in the world rose to 85,919, including 2,941 deaths, across 61 countries and territories by 1700 GMT on Saturday, according to a report gathered by AFP from official sources. (Photo: Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images)

First US Coronavirus Death Near Canada, But Trump Confirms Closing Mexico Border Under Consideration

"Why isn't Donald Trump focused on our northern border? I'll give you three guesses but you'll only need one."

Jon Queally, staff writer

While the first death tied directly to the coronavirus in the United States was confirmed as taking place overnight in Washington state, which shares a border with Canada, critics say President Donald Trump on Saturday again revealed his racist and xenophobic obsessions by confirming earlier reports that his administration is considering closing the U.S.-Mexico border as a way to stem the spread of the virus.

"There are five times as many confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Canada as Mexico," tweeted Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.). "Why isn't Donald Trump focused on our northern border? I'll give you three guesses but you'll only need one."

Reuters reported early on Saturday, citing a pair of U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials, that the Trump administration "is considering imposing entry restrictions at the U.S.-Mexico border to control the spread of the coronavirus" into the country. According to Reuters:

Mexico's government said on Friday it had detected three cases of coronavirus infection in three men who had all recently traveled to Italy, making the country the second in Latin America to register the fast-spreading virus.

The concern over containing the virus at the southern U.S. border comes as the Trump administration also weighs possible restrictions on the entry of travelers from South Korea, Italy and Japan.

Asked by a second reporter at the White House press conference why he was focusing on the Mexico border, Trump said he would consider closing any border that was necessary and acknowledged that the threat of coronavirus coming from Mexico did not appear to be a significant problem at this time.

At a rally in South Carolina on Friday night, Trump connected the threat of coronavirus into what he calls the "open border" policies of the Democrats, who have continued to criticize Trump over his handling of the virus as well as his history of cruel border policies and racist comments aimed at people from Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America.

"Whether it's the virus that we're talking about, or the many other public health threats, the Democrat policy of open borders is a direct threat to the health and wellbeing of all Americans," Trump said.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
We need your help.

Support progressive journalism.

Common Dreams is not your average news site. We don't survive on clicks or advertising dollars. We rely entirely on your support. And without it, our independent progressive journalism simply wouldn’t exist. Every gift of every amount matters.

Join the fight and support our common dreams today.

'The Filibuster Must Go': Senate GOP Blocks Debate on Voting Rights Bill

"Democrats in the Senate can have a functional democracy or the filibuster, but not both."

Jessica Corbett, staff writer ·


Key Senate Democrat Applauded for Manifesto on Reducing Drug Costs

"Sen. Wyden's drug pricing principles are a road map for taking on the greed of pharmaceutical corporations and lowering drug prices for all Americans."

Jessica Corbett, staff writer ·



Coalition of 200+ Groups Call for Permanent End to 'Neocolonialist' Global Gag Rule

"The global community deserves true partnership from the U.S., but the threat that this destructive policy could reemerge undermines relationships and harms people around the globe."

Julia Conley, staff writer ·


Social Cost of Emissions: 'One of the Most Important Numbers That No One Has Ever Heard Of'

An analysis for Friends of the Earth finds the social cost of CO2 calculates to at least 15 times the Biden administration's current figure, which is set to be finalized by early next year.

Jessica Corbett, staff writer ·