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Canada braces for the worst as U.S. looks for early end to COVID-19 pandemic

Last Updated Mar 24, 2020 at 12:05 pm PDT

Canadian and American flags fly near the Ambassador Bridge at the Canada/USA border crossing in Windsor, Ont. on Saturday, March 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rob Gurdebeke

Suggestions from Donald Trump thatthe U.S. may reopen for business in a matter of weeks has Canada preparing

The U.S. has become the country with the third highest number of COVID-19 cases globally

PM Justin Trudeau says Canada will be 'ready to shift our posture' if the situation south of the border changes

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Canada is bracing for the possibility that the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. could get significantly worse, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday.

His comments came after U.S. President Donald Trump suggested his administration could soon lift federal guidelines that have shut down businesses – despite health experts saying it would be a horrible idea.

“At this time, we feel the measures that we have taken to restrict flow across the border to … goods and essential travel is the important thing that we’re doing to keep Canadians safe,” Trudeau said. “Of course, as the situations evolves, we will be ready to shift our posture with that.”

The Canada-U.S. border was shut down to all non-essential traffic last week in an effort to try and slow the spread of COVID-19.

Trudeau added regardless of whether the U.S. decides to ease off on public health measures to jump-start its economy, Canada would continue to base its decisions on science and keeping people safe and healthy.

Trump has been growing more impatient by the day with the economic fallout from the pandemic.

“We’re not going to let the cure be worse than the problem,” the president said. “At the end of the 15 day period, we’ll make a decision as to which way we want to go, where we want to go.”

He talked about reopening the U.S. “soon.” The country now has the third highest number of cases of COVID-19 in the world and a climbing death toll.

Many have taken to social media to speak out against Trump’s suggestion, with the hashtag #NotDying4WallStreet trending on Twitter.