New Zealand intends to eliminate the new coronavirus by closing its borders. Returning citizens will be required to quarantine. And others? Nothing has been said, but either they have to be quarantined (For how long? At whose expense?), or they will reintroduce the virus. There goes tourism.

Travel from other countries has been a vector for the virus in the US, which is why New York has been so badly hit, and will continue to be so even if community transmission within the US falls. Will everyone arriving on an international flight be tested or quarantined?

Central and South America have inadequate or nonexistent public health systems, and leaders such as Ortega in Nicaragua and Bolsinaro in Brazil who deny the existence of the crisis. The virus will become endemic in these countries. Migrants will carry it over the border and re-introduce it to already weakened immigrant communities. Unless, that is, the southern border of the US is really sealed.

The Austro-Hungarian Empire maintained a twenty-mile deep border with the Ottoman Empire, in part as a defense, but in part as a measure to exclude epidemics. Spies reported on the outbreak of epidemics. Trade continued under severe quarantine measures. Violators were summarily executed. The Austro-Hungarian Empire kept the epidemics away and allowed free movement within the empire.

So let us hear the Democrats’ proposals for open borders, which would be a death sentence for millions of Americans, especially blacks, Hispanics, and the elderly. Democrats from the Upper East Side can hide in their second or third or fourth homes. The poor and elderly cannot.

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