Border restrictions on non-essential travel between Canada and the United States were officially extended until Aug. 21 this week amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. But a spokesperson for U.S. president Donald Trump’s campaign says he can’t imagine why Americans would want to come to Canada anyway.
In an on-air interview for CNN Right Now with Brianna Keilar, Trump campaign press secretary Hogan Gidley was asked about the extended border restrictions in relation to Trump’s coronavirus response.
“Hogan, Canada won’t even let us in,” Keilar said.
Gidley said he couldn’t see a reason why Americans would want to leave the U.S., which is currently facing surging coronavirus numbers and recently crossed 3.5 million confirmed cases.
“I’m not sure why you would want to go to Canada when we live in the greatest country on the face of the planet, that’s Donald Trump’s mentality on it,” Gidley said.
“Well if you want to get away from coronavirus you might,” Keilar responded.
According to the Canadian Border Services Agency, more than 10,000 U.S. citizens were turned away from the border between March 22 and July 12. Over 2,700 of them were turned away when they claimed they were crossing for “tourism” or “sightseeing,” and 500 of the turned away travellers said they wanted to come to Canada to shop.
WATCH: Canada-U.S. border restrictions extended another month to Aug. 21. Story continues below.
So yeah, people do want to come to the true north strong and free and it’s for a lot more than poutine and Timmies.
The difference between the two countries’ responses is stark. Confirmed case rates are going up faster in every single U.S. state compared to Canada. Three states (Arizona, Texas and Florida) reported a collective 25,000 new cases on Wednesday alone and Florida broke 300,000 total cases Wednesday.
Canada has reported a total of 109,000 cases since the pandemic began in March.
After the interview aired, Canadians were quick to point out that it’s fine if Americans don’t want to come to Canada — we don’t want them here either. At least not quite yet.
During the interview Gidley also noted that “Donald Trump has made [the U.S.] both feared, respected and loved across the globe like it never has been before.”
That’s certainly one way of putting it.