You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

U.S. and Canada Discuss Militarizing the Border Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Newsweek logo Newsweek 3 days ago Chantal Da Silva
Replay Video
UP NEXT
1
Cancel
UP NEXT
UP NEXT

The United States and Canada have had talks about the possibility of militarizing the border in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed.

Speaking at daily briefing on the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday, Trudeau said his government was staunchly against any militarization of "the longest unmilitarized border in the world and it is very much in both of our interests for it to remain that way," he said.

However, the Canadian prime minister confirmed that his government has "been in discussions with the United States on this."

His confirmation comes after Canadian broadcaster Global News reported that White House officials had been actively considering the possibility of deploying troops to border regions in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The effort would reportedly be aimed at preventing border crossers from making their way into the U.S. outside designated ports of entry amid the pandemic.

In addition to few people actually crossing from Canada into the U.S. outside designated ports of entry each year, the nation has also, so far, experienced significantly lower numbers of coronavirus cases than the U.S.

Slideshow by photo services

According to a live tracker maintained by the Johns Hopkins University, as of Thursday afternoon, Canada had seen 3,412 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with 36 of cases resulting in death.

Compared to the U.S., which had seen nearly 69,690 confirmed cases of COVID-19 by Thursday afternoon, with 1,049 cases resulting in the death, Canada's numbers appear to be relatively low. Trudeau said Canada "will continue to work with the United States to ensure that border measures we put in place are respected," with the prime minister noting that both countries had agreed to close the border temporarily to all but "essential travelers."

"We will continue to work with the American administration to ensure that we're doing everything we can to keep our country safe and to keep Canadians safe in our case," he said.

However, the Canadian leader said that his government had "highlighted that the fact that the Canada U.S. border is the longest unmilitarized border in the world is something that has benefited our two countries and... economies tremendously."

"And we feel that it needs to remain that way," he said.

Justin Trudeau, Donald Trump are posing for a picture: President Donald Trump listens to Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a meeting at Winfield House, London on December 3, 2019. Trudeau confirmed on Thursday that Canadian officials had discussed the possibility of militarization at the border with U.S. counterparts. © NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty President Donald Trump listens to Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a meeting at Winfield House, London on December 3, 2019. Trudeau confirmed on Thursday that Canadian officials had discussed the possibility of militarization at the border with U.S. counterparts.

Newsweek has contacted the White House, the Department of Homeland Security and the Trudeau government for comment.

Sign up to our newsletter and get Newsweek stories delivered to your e-mail

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from Newsweek

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon