Here’s a headline I bet you didn’t see coming, right? The Mexican government is now apparently talking about trying to seal their northern border with the United States. Is it because they’ve really taken President Trump’s message about illegal immigration to heart? Well… they have, at least more than they used to. But no, that’s not it. They’re worried about Americans coming down into their country and bringing the coronavirus with them. And no… I’m not even kidding. (Daily Mail)
For once, the conversation over closing the US-Mexico border is being driven b Mexican health officials who say they are considering shutting out Americans to keep coronavirus out of their country.
There are currently more than 1,900 cases of the virus in the US and it is spreading rapidly. Forty-two people have died from it.
By contrast in Mexico, there have only been 16 confirmed cases and no deaths.
At a press conference on Friday, health minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell said: ‘Mexico wouldn’t bring the virus to the United States, rather the United States would bring it here.
May I first just say… be our guests! If you want to shut down the border or at least restrict access to designated ports of entry and conduct health checks there, go for it! I’m not even being sarcastic. That would be wonderful. Just make sure you’re shutting it down in both directions.
Mexico’s health minister went on to say, “If it were technically necessary, we would consider mechanisms of restriction or stronger surveillance.”
Wait a minute. Hold the phone here, Minister Lopez. Are you saying that your country already has stronger “mechanisms of restriction” and “stronger surveillance” that you could be using along our border and you haven’t been using them? I think AMLO needs to make time to schedule another call with Trump.
One interesting tidbit that came out of this story has to do with the infection rates in Mexico. As of this week, there have only been sixteen confirmed cases of coronavirus and no deaths in the entire country. That seems rather remarkable. Mexico City has a population of nearly nine million and a very busy airport. Anyone who has traveled to Mexico will also tell you that sanitation issues abound, particularly in urban areas. So how is it that they have so few cases?
Two possibilities pop to mind. One is that they’ve just been incredibly lucky and not had as much tourist or business traffic from Asia and Europe as we have. But that seems unlikely. The other possibility is that they haven’t gotten out in front of this thing and don’t have sufficient tests to begin checking people on a large scale. If that’s the case, for all they know they could have thousands of people who are infected but they’re going around thinking they have the flu or something.
For their sakes, I certainly hope that’s not the case, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised, given the way things have been playing out in other countries. But in the meantime, let’s get back to these stronger border protections they supposedly have. We really need to talk.