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Canada extends border closure with US amid Trump’s failure to get pandemic under control

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Donald Trump and Justin Trudeau AFP / Nicholas Kamm

Canadian officials are regarding the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. warily, as Public Safety Minister Bill Blair on Monday announced the country is extending its border restrictions for at least another month.

The restrictions had been set to expire on Wednesday, after an agreement with the U.S. to suspend nonessential travel between the two countries was forged in March, but now Americans will be largely unable to cross the northern border until at least Nov. 21.

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The decision was made with public safety in Canada in mind, Blair said in a tweeted statement on Monday.

Coronavirus cases in the U.S. have been steadily rising for over a month, with 8.2 million cases reported in the country so far. Several states bordering Canada have been identified as hotspots recently, including Wisconsin, North Dakota, and Montana.

Canada, which is currently facing a rise in infections, has confirmed fewer than 200,000 cases of Covid-19 since its first case in January, and 9,760 people have died of the disease. The country has also had a lower test positivity rate than its neighbor to the south. In the U.S., more than 219,000 people have died so far as President Donald Trump has sidelined public health experts, undermined early efforts by healthcare workers to confront the crisis, flouted and openly mocked guidance including social distancing and the use of face masks—even after testing positive for the disease himself earlier this month.

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Trump’s refusal to defer to public health officials regarding the pandemic has been echoed by some federal, state, and local officials, including Fargo, North Dakota City Commissioner Dave Piepkorn, who earlier this month claimed in a meeting about mask mandates that wearing face coverings does not prevent the transmission of Covid-19.

“I hope Canada keeps the border closed until 2025,” tweeted Canadian television producer Emily Andras in response to Piepkorn’s comments.

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“We have committed to keeping Canadians safe and we keep extending the border closures because the United States is not in a place where we would feel comfortable reopening those borders,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told The Start, a podcast produced in Winnipeg, last week. “We will continue to make sure that Canadians’ safety is top of mind when we move forward.”

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Immigration lawyers have reported an uptick in the number of Americans inquiring about moving to Canada since the pandemic began in March. In July, Canadian attorney Mark Belanger told Global News that the number of inquiries he’s received has tripled this year.

The president’s actions unrelated to the pandemic has also been linked to a surge in the number of Americans wanting to leave the country, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA).

Heather Segal, an immigration attorney in Toronto, told the outlet earlier this month that four Americans contacted her the morning after the first presidential debate, when Trump refused to denounce white supremacists.

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Segal said small spikes in immigration inquiries are common in U.S. election years, but in 2016 she received just a couple dozen. This year she has received six or seven per day.

“In my life, I have never seen what I’m seeing,” Segal told JTA.


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Noam Chomsky: ‘Malevolent’ Trump exposed the ‘extreme fragility of American democracy’

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Prominent public intellectual Noam Chomsky is explaining how President Donald Trump, post-election, is revealing the actual state of America's fragile democracy.

The president's General Services Administration (GSA) head Emily W. Murphy may have signed off on beginning the transition process for the Biden administration but he is still pushing his baseless, unfounded claims of voter fraud. Although U.S. election officials deemed the 2020 presidential election "the most secure in American history," Trump continues to insist the general election was rigged.

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2020 Election

Trump’s ‘sore loser’ tiny desk performance mocked by New Yorker writer: ‘This does not project strength’

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New Yorker writer Susan Glasser on Friday mocked President Donald Trump for whining about losing the 2020 presidential election while sitting behind a tiny desk.

Appearing on CNN, Glasser said she was amazed that someone as image-conscious as Trump wouldn't realize how weak he appeared on Thanksgiving while ranting about voter from behind a puny desk.

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‘Tiny brain. Tiny man. Tiny desk. Massive ego.’ Donald Trump mocked for ‘throwing a tantrum’ at ‘the kids table’

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President Donald Trump gave a Thanksgiving Day address from a comically tiny desk in the White House, setting off a stream of mockery throughout the evening.

The president aired his grievances, lashed out at reporters and told outrageous lies about the election -- which he insisted had been stolen from him -- but most observers were distracted by that unusually small desk adorned with a large presidential seal.

hold me closer tiny-desk man

— Adam Weinstein (@AdamWeinstein) November 27, 2020

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