By Aaron Miller-
U.S. President Donald Trump plans to place military troops along the U.S.-Canada border to keep track of irregular border crossings amid COVID-19 fears.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed that he and Trump are discussing Describing the U.S.-Canada border as one of the longest non-militarised borders in the world, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau said he and Trump are discussing the matter and “it is in both of our interests” to maintain that.
Trudeau’s comment came on Thursday following the report by Global News that Trump was looking to militarise the border.Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland offered stronger words, adding that Canada is “very directly and very forcefully expressing the view” that military presence on the border is “an entirely unnecessary step.”
Freeland said she first learned that Trump is considering deploying troops “a couple of days ago.” Trump eagerly wants to reopen U.S. borders by Easter, dismissing advice from public health officials. The U.S.-Canada border has been closed to all non-essential travellers since last week, including asylum-seekers at irregular border crossings
The prime minister said talks will continue with American authorities to ensure appropriate and coordinated border measures are taken as the COVID-19 unfolds. Canada reported an estimated 3,500 confirmed COVID-19 cases, in wide contrast to New York City, which on its own has over 25,000 cases alone.
Trump is has now been speaking of new coronavirus testing capabilities which would allow his administration to identify “high-risk, medium risk and low-risk” counties where different levels of social distancing would be appropriate.
“Our expanded testing capabilities will quickly enable us to publish criteria, developed in close coordination with the Nation’s public health officials and scientists, to help classify counties with respect to continued risks posed by the virus,” he wrote. New, more tailored guidelines will help governors and other state policymakers decide on “maintaining, increasing or relaxing social distancing and other mitigation measures they have put in place,” Trump wrote.