President Donald Trump suggested that the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed nearly 600 lives in the United States, justifies his immigration policies, and “IS WHY WE NEED BORDERS.”
THIS IS WHY WE NEED BORDERS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 23, 2020
But as many critics pointed out, viruses know no borders.
Human compassion is the only proven strategy against this global problem. If we have learned something from this crisis, it's that borders are useless: walls don't stop viruses.
— Alejandro Gaviria (@agaviriau) March 24, 2020
Yes, let's make the viruses show some sort of identification before they cross over. Great idea, Mr. President. You're such a genius.
— Stacie (@h8Wankmaggot45) March 23, 2020
There is already community spread of the coronavirus within the United States and the virus is affecting countries around the world. This is why we need to approach this as a global effort rather than racist nationalism and xenophobia. We’re all in this together.
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) March 23, 2020
O’Hare airport with international travelers going through customs. Six hour lines, no masks, no gloves, no tests, no quarantines. Viruses don’t know borders. pic.twitter.com/bDcnJsJldH
— jen pal (@jennyrachelpal) March 23, 2020
Viruses don’t use Passports.
— ⚜️Rob Anderson for Louisiana (@RobAnderson2018) March 23, 2020
The president has had to contend with a mounting crisis as news emerged that his administration had been warned about a likely pandemic as early as January and February, but failed to take serious action. The warnings from U.S. intelligence agencies underscore a dire reality: That the virus would have spread with or without the tightened border controls the president suggested. (The president has made tightened border security and immigration control a cornerstone of his policy since his time as a candidate on the campaign trail.)
One in three Americans has been ordered to stay home as United States health officials warn that the worst is still ahead of us. With the exponential spread, the number of cases and deaths is expected to explode in the coming week, likely determining the direction the White House will take.
“I want America to understand: This week, it’s going to get bad,” Surgeon General Jerome Adams said during an appearance on NBC. “We really, really need everyone to stay at home. … There are not enough people out there who are taking this seriously.”
There are more than 46,000 coronavirus cases nationwide, though that number is likely to be significantly higher due to a testing shortage.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.