National Situation Update- 9/19/2020


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Borders with Canada and Mexico Remain Closed
USGOV Warns of Travel to Hong Kong

September 19, 2020

Between Sept 9-11, the following related Flash SMS
messages were sent to
AlertsUSA subscriber mobile devices:

9/18 – DHS: Ban on non-essential travel through shared border crossings with Canada and Mexico extended until October 21 due to COVID-19.

What You Need To Know

On Friday of this week, AlertsUSA subscribers were notified of an announcement by the Department of Homeland Security that in an ongoing effort to limit further spread of the coronavirus, the U.S. has reached agreements with the governments of Canada and Mexico to continue with limitations on all non-essential travel across borders until at least October 21st.. Initially implemented on March 21st, this is the 6th extension of the closure.

DHS has also announced that Customs and Border Protection will continue with the policy of no longer detaining illegal immigrants in their holding facilities and will immediately return these aliens to the country from which they entered. Where such a return is not possible, CBP will return these aliens to their country of origin.

Essential cross-border workers such as health care professionals, airline crews and truck drivers are still allowed to cross along the border.

U.S. Warns of Travel to Hong Kong

In related news, earlier in the week the U.S. State Department issued updated travel advisories for China and Hong Kong which reflect China’s implementation of a national security law over the island territory. Specifically, the new advisory for Hong Kong warns U.S. citizens to reconsider travel to the Special Administrative Region (SAR) due to the PRC government’s arbitrarily enforcement of local laws, including by carrying out arbitrary and wrongful detentions and through the use of exit bans on U.S. citizens and citizens of other countries without due process of law.

Similar to what has been detailed in the mainland China Travel Advisory for some time, the updated Hong Kong advisory warns that the PRC government uses arbitrary detention and exit bans to:

  • Compel individuals to participate in PRC government investigations.
  • Pressure family members to return to the PRC from abroad.
  • Influence PRC authorities to resolve civil disputes in favor
    of PRC citizens.
  • To gain bargaining leverage over foreign governments.

In most cases, U.S. citizens only become aware of an exit ban when they attempt to depart the PRC, and there is no reliable mechanism or legal process to find out how long the ban might continue, or to contest it in a court of law. Further, U.S. citizens traveling or residing in the PRC or Hong Kong may be detained without access to U.S. consular services or information about their alleged crime. U.S. citizens may also be subjected to prolonged interrogations and extended detention without due process of law.

If you or someone you know is considering travel to China or Hong Kong, AlertsUSA strongly recommends carefully reading the entirety of the travel advisories.

AlertsUSA continues to monitor the domestic and international threat environment around the clock and will immediately notify service subscribers, via SMS messages to their mobile devices, of new alerts, warnings and advisories or any developments which signal a change the overall threat picture for American citizens as events warrant.

Colorized scanning electron micrograph of an apoptotic cell (green) heavily infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus particles purple), isolated from a patient sample. Image captured at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. - ALLOW IMAGES

Coronavirus Update

As of the time of this reports’ preparation on Friday, there were more than 6,455,000 COVID-19 cases reported in the U.S., as well as 198,400 deaths attributed to the virus.

Despite the dramatic influence of politics on the pandemic response, as well as the botched effort of federal and state health authorities in testing and accurate case counting, the two-step and mixed messaging on use of masks, the highly flawed rule-making hampering the use of hydroxychloroquine in the early treatment of those infected with COVID-19 and so much more, AlertsUSA encourages readers to remain conscious of the need to be cautious, not only out of concern for your own well being, but also that of others. There actually is a virus, is still in circulation globally, it is still hospitalizing people globally, and it is still taking lives globally.


World Health Organization
Centers for Disease Control (U.S.)
Johns Hopkins CSSE (Interactive map updated multiple times daily)


White House: Guidelines for Opening Up America Again
CDC: K-12 Schools: Readiness and Planning Tool
CDC: One-Stop Shop for COVID-19 Resources
Department of Homeland Security / Ready.Gov
World Health Organization

CDC: How to Protect Yourself
CDC: What to Do If You Are Sick


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Food and Drug Administration
Public Health Agency of Canada
Infection Prevention and Control Canada
World Health Organization


9/13 – Agitated anti-police protest forming near downtown Lancaster (PA) City Police Bureau flwg shooting of armed black male. Caution urged. Live streams via email.

9/13 – Tropical Storm Sally: Hurricane warnings expanded to include Morgan City, LA to MS / AL state line. Forecast track shifting east of previous. More via email.

9/16 – Law enf across DC area preparing for large protests in the coming days and cont until elections. Caution urged if in or traveling to the region. More via email.

9/17 – AlertsUSA monitoring reports of active shooter situation, Fort Hood, TX. Base currently sheltering in place. Add’l details as warranted.

9/17 – All clear message given at Fort Hood. Malfunctioning alarm caused concerns about an active shooter on post.

9/18 – Tropical Storm Beta forms in the Gulf. Forecast to become a hurricane this weekend. Residents of TX & LA should be monitoring this system.

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Trump Admin COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan

The Dept. of Defense and the Dept. of Health and Human Services have released details on the Trump administration’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution strategy. Specifically, there are two documents, developed in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), that include details on the vaccination program and strategic distribution overview, as well as an interim playbook for state, tribal, territorial, and local public health programs on how to plan and operationalize a vaccination response to COVID-19.

Download the Strategy for Distributing a COVID-19 Vaccine – PDF

Download the COVID-19 Vaccination Program Interim Playbook – PDF

Download the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Process Infographic – PDF

Operation Crossroads in 1946 at Bikini Atoll tested the effects of nuclear weapons on naval fleets and harbors. - ALLOW IMAGES

Why the Next Shooting War Could Go Nuclear

The evidence is easy to spot. China and Russia are deploying greater numbers of “ambiguous,” dual-use ground-launched ballistic missiles. At the same time, the United States’ pursuit of conventional hypersonic missiles of very high speed and accuracy might enable even these non-nuclear weapons to hold nuclear arsenals at risk.


The Possible Limits of China-Russia Cooperation

Despite China’s planned participation in Russia’s annual Caucus 2020 exercises on September 21-26, Sino-Russian history is so replete with war, unequal treaties and racism, there seems little probability that their present military cooperation will succeed in developing into a military alliance.


BLM Co-Founder and Pro-Communist
China Group Are Partnering Up

The Black Futures Lab, a venture of Black Lives Matter founder Alicia Garza, is sponsored by the Chinese Progressive Association, a partner of the People’s Republic of China in the U.S.


Fleet and Marine Tracker Map as of Sept 14, 2020  - ALLOW IMAGES

USNI Fleet and Marine Tracker

These are the approximate positions of the U.S. Navy’s deployed carrier strike groups and amphibious ready groups throughout the world as of Sept 14, 2020 based on Navy, public data provided by the U.S. Naval Institute, and open source reporting. In cases where a CSG or ARG is conducting disaggregated operations, the chart reflects the location of the capital ship.

An Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker leads a joint formation of F-16 Fighting Falcons during Astral Knight in Poland, Sept. 17, 2020. The joint, multinational exercise involves U.S. airmen and soldiers working with service members from Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Sweden.- ALLOW IMAGES

World News Roundup


Minnesota man facing terrorism charges
Trump to block downloads of TikTok, WeChat on Sunday
Seven Chinese, including “Apt41” actors, charged with computer intrusion
The Air Force Just Tested “Robot Dogs” For Use In Base Security
US Military Working Dogs Should Be American-Born, Dem Senator Says
CDC Dir walks back testimony that masks work better than vaccines
Secretary of Defense: Beijing & Moscow have weaponized space
It Appears That Google Has A Black List Of Conservative Sites
Nearly two-thirds of US young adults unaware 6m Jews killed in the Holocaust
Who is Secretly Building the USAF’s New Fighter?


‘Very serious situation’ unfolding in Europe as virus cases rise dramatically
European cities announce new restrictions as COVID-19 cases soar
Biden says US trade deal hinges on UK ‘respect’ for Good Friday Agreement
Venus is a Russian planet, Roscosmos chief declares
Russia accuses U.S. of promoting revolution in Belarus, toughens stance
Belarus to close border with Poland and Lithuania – Lukashenko
Belarusian protesters are being tortured by police, human rights experts say
Britain’s PM Johnson has ‘every hope’ of avoiding no-deal Brexit
Germany: Coronavirus vaccine likely available by mid-2021


Al-Shabab growing more emboldened in targeting US troops
Al-Shabab militant jailed for attack on US base in Kenya
New US Army unit tools African militaries fighting terrorists in Mali
Saudi Arabia may have enough uranium for nuclear fuel and weapons
Stars’ paradise isle in Mozambique overrun by ISIS-linked insurgents
Trump hails new ‘dawn’ as Israel signs accords with Bahrain and UAE
Israeli jets strike Gaza after Palestinian rocket attack
Gaza violence flares after Israel signs deals with Gulf states
Rouhani: UAE, Bahrain will bear ‘consequences’ of Israel deals
US sanctions ‘ruining lives’, Iran tells United Nations court
Syria calls US a ‘rogue state’ over Trump’s kill al-Assad plan
As Lebanon misses deadline to form govt, France urges parties to keep trying
Former Turkish DM says Greece must evacuate from 9 Aegean islands
‘Confounding’: Covid may have already peaked in many African countries
Twelve million S. Africans ‘probably’ had coronavirus
‘All’ armed groups commit to ceasefire in DRC’s South Kivu
Uganda jail break: More than 200 prisoners escape Moroto facility


PLA Friday drills not warning, but rehearsal for Taiwan takeover
China’s 3rd carrier under construction in Shanghai’s ‘warship factory’
Is DPRK about to unveil new weapons? Flurry of activity suggests big reveal.
Taiwan scrambles jets after China sends 18 plane show of force during US visit
New Zealand in recession as coronavirus lockdown hits economy
H.R. McMaster says Trump policy in Afghanistan partners with Taliban
Indian, China troops exchanged gunshots twice last week as tensions rose
Taiwan calls for global coalition against China’s aggression as US official flies in
AUS could join the US, Japan and India to create alliance named ‘The Quad’
Japan’s Yoshihide Suga elected PM, to announce ‘continuity’ cabinet
India pushes supplies to disputed China border ahead of winter
India’s coronavirus cases pass 5 million as hospitals scramble for oxygen
‘It’s getting worse by the day’: India’s Covid battle rages on

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Travel Security

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The U.S. Dept. of State Travel Website is the authoritative federal source for information on the security situation at travel destinations worldwide. With tensions rapidly increasing in most regions, readers planning international travel, even to such common destinations as Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean Islands, are strongly encouraged to do a little research on the security situation at your destination well prior to departure.

Active USGOV Travel Notices

Worldwide Caution

Active USGOV Travel Advisories

Alphabetical Country List

Dynamic Map

Other USGOV Travel Resources

Traveler’s Checklist

Smart Traveler Enrollment Prog (STEP)

Travelers with Special Considerations

Travel to High-Risk Areas

Faith-Based Travel Information

Information for Women Travelers

Cruise Ship Passengers

Students Abroad

Your Health Abroad

Driving and Road Safety Abroad

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The Department of State’s Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) provides a variety of resources to enhance the safety and security of the U.S. private sector businesses and organizations operating abroad.


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website is the authoritative federal source for information on current health issues related to specific destinations worldwide. These issues may arise from disease outbreaks, special events or gatherings, natural disasters, or other conditions that may affect travelers’ health.

Foreign Sources of Travel Guidance

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Global Affairs Canada

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Australia Dept. of Foreign Affairs


UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office

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