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White House says all non-essential travel between US and Mexico has been suspended

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Posted at 9:04 AM, Mar 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-20 13:51:05-04

At a briefing by the White House's coronavirus task force, Sec. of State Mike Pompeo said that the U.S. and Mexico have agreed to end all non-essential travel between the border of the two countries.

The agreement is similar to one with Canada that was announced earlier this week. Essential travel, including trade and commerce, will continue.

The travel restrictions go into effect on Saturday.

Pompeo also said that the CDC has ordered that all foreign nationals not be allowed into the U.S. without proper documentation. Beginning Friday night, anyone entering the country without proper documentation will be returned to either Mexico or Canada.

Watch the White House briefing in the player below.

Health and Human Services Sec. Alex Azar said that the CDC issued the order in an attempt to ensure proper social distancing in border detention centers.

The briefing comes about an hour after Treasury Sec. Steve Mnuchin tweeted that the IRS was delaying the tax filing deadline date three months to July 15. The previous deadline date was April 15.

Earlier this week, Mnuchin and other Trump administration officials floated a stimulus plan that would provide every American with cash in the hopes of stimulating the economy. Estimates project the stimulus bill could total more than $1 trillion.

During Wednesday's briefing, President Donald Trump told reporters that the FDA was investigating whether certain drugs that had already been approved for other treatments, like chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, could be used to treat the coronavirus. Trump added that those drugs would be available "immediately" for treatment with COVID-19, though the FDA quickly pushed back on that claim.

The Trump administration's briefing also comes a day after Vice President Mike Pence said that there were "tens of thousands of venitlators that could be converted for states to purchased." However, in that same press conference, Trump placed the responsibility on acquiring medical equipment that's in short supply.

"The federal government is not supposed to be out there buying vast amounts of items, and then shipping. We're not a shipping clerk," Trump said.