US travel ban will affect relations with Brazil, Sao Paulo governor says

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(CNN) - The new US travel ban on Brazil may affect the diplomatic and economic relationship between the two countries, Sao Paulo Gov. Joao Doria told CNN’s Isa Soares on Tuesday.

“In my opinion, my personal opinion, even the diplomatic and economic relationship with the US will be affected by Mr. Trump’s decision,” Doria said.

The ban is scheduled to go into effect Tuesday night at 11:59 p.m. ET and will limit the entry of any foreign nationals, including Brazilians, who traveled to the country within the past 14 days.

Doria said President Jair Bolsonaro was undermining his message and that of governors who represent some of the states hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

“With the example of the president of Brazil, everything is more difficult to us,” he said, because when local authorities ask people to stay home and use masks, the president sends the “opposite message.”

“He goes to the streets without masks. A wrong behavior and wrong indication. This is very sad for Brazil and makes everything more difficult [for] the governors in the states of Brazil,” Doria said. “In fact, we have today two viruses to combat in Brazil: the coronavirus and Bolsonaro virus."

Bolsonaro has frequently dismissed the threat of the coronavirus and has said the financial impact of preventive measures, such as social distancing and quarantines, will be worse than the virus itself.

“The behavior of President Bolsonaro is the wrong behavior. He is against social isolation. He’s against orientation of the science,” Doria said, adding the priority should be saving lives before saving the economy.

Doria denied Sao Paulo’s health care system was near collapse at the moment, saying hospitals have received ventilators and the necessary support, and that the situation "is under control."

The state of Sao Paulo has the highest cases in Brazil, with more than 83,000 infections and 6,220 deaths, according to the latest data from the Brazilian health ministry.

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