Politics

U.S. Borders With Mexico and Canada to Close This Weekend

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At a White House briefing on Friday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that border closures to non-essential travelers from Canada and Mexico would go into effect at midnight on Saturday.

Mr. Pompeo also reiterated that the State Department had implemented a Level 4 travel advisory warning Americans against traveling abroad. He said U.S. citizens “should arrange immediate return” unless they intend to remain abroad for an extended time. “If you choose to travel, it may well be fairly disruptive,” he said.

President Trump said that the Education Department would suspend standardized testing for schools across the country, and that interest on federally held student loans would be suspended.

Mr. Trump said that Mr. Pompeo would be outlining a new initiative “having to do with the border,” and suggested that immigration would strain health care systems.

“During a global pandemic they threaten to create a public storm that would spread the infection to our border agents, migrants and the public at large,” Mr. Trump said, referring to people seeking to enter the country.

Both Mr. Trump and Mr. Pompeo used the term “Chinese virus,” continuing their efforts to rename a virus that causes a disease public health experts purposely named Covid-19 to avoid the spread of blame and xenophobia. On Thursday, a Washington Post photographer took an image of Mr. Trump’s speech materials on the White House podium that showed the word “coronavirus” crossed out and “Chinese” replaced in Sharpie.

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