President Trump is considering a travel ban for Brazil, after the South American country overtook Britain to become the country with the third-highest number of confirmed COVID-19 infections, behind the U.S. and Russia. Yesterday, Brazil tallied 1,179 deaths due to the disease, setting a single-day record.

“We are considering it,” Trump told reporters at the White House yesterday. “We hope that we are not going to have a problem.”

Criticism toward President Jair Bolsonaro has intensified in his country over his handling of the coronavirus epidemic. An ideological ally Trump, Bolsonaro has repeatedly downplayed COVID-19 as a “little flu” and denounced restrictions as being damaging to the economy.

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Two of Brazil’s health ministers have resigned in the past month over his disdain toward public health experts’ advice. Bolsonaro said newly appointed Interim Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello would issue new guidelines today expanding the recommended use of the anti-malarial drug chloroquine to treat the novel coronavirus.

In the U.S., the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has cautioned against using hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine outside a hospital setting due to the risk of heart rhythm problems.

“I don’t want people coming over here and infecting our people,” said President Trump. “I don’t want people over there sick either.”

Brazil has a COVID-19 mortality rate of 8.59 deaths per 100,000 people, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. That’s more than three times less than the COVID-19 mortality rate in the United States, which has recorded 28.4 deaths per 100,000 people.

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