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Ramped pressure on President Bolsonaro Over U.S.’s Travel Ban on Brazil Citing WHO Marking Latin America as the New Epicenter

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Last week as World Health Organization (WHO) marked Latin America as the new epicenter of COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. President Donald Trump imposed a travel ban from Brazil. 

This measure was taken by the Trump administration in leu of the latest skyrocketing positive cases in the South American country, making Brazil the second highest in number of COVID-19 cases just after U.S.

The already beleaguered Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro has come under even further pressure post this travel ban by U.S. on the non-US citizens from the South American country.

The ban announcement came on Sunday as Brazil experienced soaring number of cases to more than 363,000 and the death toll reaching around 23,000. 

President Bolsonaro is already facing immense backlash and criticism over his outlook towards the pandemic, his flouting of social distancing guidelines and losing two health ministers in a month. This new travel ban from U.S. has only increased the pressure on him.

Elaborating on the ban, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said that this new regulation would ensure that non-US nationals who had been to Brazil don’t become “a source of additional infections in our country.”

This travel ban, which is indefinite, would come into effect from Friday. It would apply to all the foreign nationals who have travelled to Brazil in the last 14 days. 

This is a blow to Bolsonaro, a far-right leader, who flaunts his closeness to U.S. President Donald Trump indicative of the Trump’s steering Brazil in the right direction. This travel ban on Brazil has given a chance to Bolsonaro’s foes to criticize and prove that his “supposed” closeness to Trump is misguided. 

Valmir Assuncao, left wing Congressman from Workers Party in Brazil, tweeted soon after the news came in, “Brazil: a health risk to the world thanks to Jair Bolsonaro”.

Bolsonaro recently was branded a “killer” by his opponents as he crusaded for a hotdog on Saturday night, soon after more than 950 of Brazilians were reported to succumb to COVID-19. 

Bolsonaro has been regularly downplaying the pandemic and has led to the country as the second leading nation in coronavirus cases. 

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