Trudeau: Canada handled coronavirus better than many countries, 'including our neighbor'

Trudeau: Canada handled coronavirus better than many countries, 'including our neighbor'
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Canadian Prime Minister Justin TrudeauJustin Pierre James TrudeauCanada vows to retaliate against Trump tariffs  Are US-Japan relations on the rocks? US to restrict border crossings for another month: reports MORE on Wednesday touted his country's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, saying that its response proved to be better than many of its allies, including the United States. 

“We were able to control the virus better than many of our allies, particularly including our neighbor,” Trudeau said during a news briefing, according to Reuters

The comments from Trudeau came as the U.S. experiences a surge in coronavirus infections in parts of the country, causing several states to pause reopening plans. The U.S. on Tuesday recorded more than 60,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, marking a new high for a 24-hour period. 

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As of Wednesday afternoon, the country had reported about 3 million cases of the virus and more than 131,000 deaths caused by it, according to a Johns Hopkins University database. 

Canada, with a population about a tenth the size of the U.S., has reported roughly 108,000 cases of the virus and about 8,700 deaths from it. 

Trudeau said that the outbreak was "stabilizing in Canada because Canadians did their part and followed public health instructions," CNN reported

"But we still have to be very careful," he added. "Things can change quickly ... we still have some hot spots in some parts of the country, including in long-term care facilities and agricultural work settings, so as we continue to gradually reopen the economy, we have to remain vigilant."

Canada and the Trump administration in March agreed to close their border to nonessential travel as part of an effort to slow the virus's spread. The move has not impacted trade between the nations. Officials are reportedly discussing whether to extend the ban past July 21, when it is set to expire. 

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During the news conference, Trudeau said that he speaks "reasonably regularly" with President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrat calls on White House to withdraw ambassador to Belarus nominee TikTok collected data from mobile devices to track Android users: report Peterson wins Minnesota House primary in crucial swing district MORE and that he planned to congratulate him on the new trade agreement between Canada, Mexico and the U.S. 

Trump is set to meet with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Wednesday to commemorate the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement taking effect. However, Trudeau declined a White House invite due to scheduling conflicts.  

Given Canadian coronavirus regulations, the prime minister would have also been forced to quarantine for 14 days upon returning from the U.S. if he had chosen to visit the White House, a senior White House official told The Associated Press.