July 8, 2020 / 4:30 PM / a month ago

Canada handled the coronavirus outbreak better than United States -PM Trudeau

OTTAWA, July 8 (Reuters) - Canada handled the coronavirus outbreak better than many of its allies, including the United States, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Wednesday in a rare public comment on the faltering U.S. effort.

Canada - with a population a tenth of the size of the United States - has so far recorded 8,711 deaths and 106,167 cases and Trudeau said the situation was stabilizing, although some hot spots remained.

In contrast, the United States has recorded more than 3 million cases and 131,000 deaths. Authorities have reported alarming upswings of daily case loads in roughly two dozen states over the past two weeks.

“We were able to control the virus better than many of our allies, particularly including our neighbor,” Trudeau told a briefing, saying this would help efforts to restart the economy.

Canada and the United States have blocked nonessential travel between the two nations since March and are discussing whether to extend the ban when it expires on July 21.

Although Trudeau’s relations with U.S. President Donald Trump have been good over the last 18 months, he skipped a Washington meeting on Wednesday to herald the start of a new continental trade agreement with the United States and Mexico.

Trudeau, who would have had to enter a 14-day quarantine period on his return, repeated concerns about the possible imposition of U.S. tariffs on Canadian exports of aluminum. (Reporting by David Ljunggren in Ottawa Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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