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National security adviser: White House nearing decision on cutting off travel from Brazil

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The White House hopes to reach a decision soon on whether to cut off travel from Brazil, a worsening coronavirus hotspot, national security adviser Robert O’Brien said Sunday.

“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,” O’Brien said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “But because of the situation in Brazil, we’re going to take every step necessary to protect the American people.”

Asked by host Margaret Brennan whether the decision would pertain to the Southern Hemisphere as a whole, O’Brien responded: “As of now, I’d say Brazil, and we’ll take a look at the other countries on a country-by-country  basis for sure.”

President Trump said last week that the U.S. was considering a ban on travel from Brazil, which currently has the third-highest number of coronavirus cases after the U.S. and Russia, expressing concerns about Brazilians with the virus traveling to Florida, specifically.

“We are considering it. We hope that we’re not going to have a problem,” Trump said last Tuesday.

Brazil has recorded more than 260,000 cases of the virus and over 17,500 deaths, with the health-care systems of large cities like São Paulo saying they have been overwhelmed.

“I worry about everything. 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,” Trump told reporters last week. “Brazil is having some trouble, no question about it.”

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