With the novel coronavirus pandemic wreaking havoc across the globe, some countries have chosen to become more insular, while others have continued to try to maintain strong partnerships.
Canadians on social media took the time on Saturday to remind the U.S. about what kind of country Canada has always been when their neighbours needed them, with many tweets beginning: ”Dear America.”
The tweets come amidst news that U.S. President Donald Trump pressured N95 respirator manufacturer 3M to stop exporting the masks to Canada.
Warning: Some of the following tweets contain explicit language.
Dear America:— Canadian Politics (@canadianpoli) April 4, 2020
Canada diverted & landed 230 planes on 9/11, keeping 30,000 US passengers safe. In 1980, we rescued 6 US diplomats from Iran. We were in WW2 before you; we fought side by side. In Nov please elect a president that values the Canadian-USA relationship. Love, Canada
Dear America,— Archangel ❎ (@Archangel_X__) April 4, 2020
We know you're better than this. We had your back in Afghanistan. We took care of your people when your air space was shutdown on 9/11. We sent our fire fighters to CA. Linesmen after huricanes. Where's the love man?! pic.twitter.com/VTGOAGx4ZG
Dear America,— Juan Solo (@juanjoseiturbe) April 4, 2020
On 9/11 we were there for you. In Afghanistan, we were there for you. We're here for you now. We'll be here for you in the future. Even if you don't send us the masks.
But, really, if you elect Trump again, you might just be on your own. I know you say that's
Dear America: Trump ordered @3M to to stop selling Canada desperately N91 masks.— LadyMephisto (@lisaelyea) April 4, 2020
Canada saved your butts during the Iran Hostage Crisis
Canada housed & fed 40K Americans on 9/11 and after fought in YOUR war.
Trudeau is too polite so I’ll say it for him:
YOU OWE US A FAVOUR!! pic.twitter.com/qIjTId0ESK
Dear America— 🍒Acidic Blonde™️ (@Acidic_Blonde) April 4, 2020
One day you’ll need something vital from us
Obviously we’ll give it to you
Canadians are awesome
Others expressed outrage and frustration that the Trump administration was possibly putting people at risk out of selfishness and appeared to be turning their backs on allies.
Dear America,— caro leger (@CaroLegerM) April 4, 2020
What in the actual fuck ?!
A friendly Canadian who doesn’t want to die at the hands of your president #CanadaIsAnAlly
Dear America Please tell your leader that the inner makings of the N95 Masks are only made in Canada. It's called K10S and a mill in BC has the only recipe. #TrumpPressBriefing— Cyndy #Grounded #VaccineASAP (@Cyndy7777) April 4, 2020
Dear America:— Steve Redmond (@sjredmond) April 4, 2020
Do better this November. This asshat doesn't even know that the raw materials to create those 3M masks comes from Canada. We'll take our payment in masks from now on. Canada is your second largest trading partner next to China. Think about it. Friendships matter. https://t.co/qq1dhrfI72
Dear America,— Tom H (@humourme1234) April 4, 2020
I’m old enough to remember Canada diverting and landing over 230 planes, holding 30,000 American passengers on 9/11... Canada was there for you when you needed us! 🇺🇸🇨🇦
What have you become? #cdnpoli #COVIDCanada https://t.co/askiZXuVGW
Though some emphasized that it was perhaps time for the relationship to change course, since the generosity and willingness to help didn’t seem to be mutual.
Dear America— Rights and Freedoms (@AndFreedoms) April 4, 2020
Our relationship is entwined.
We depend on each other's economies.
We've fought wars together
and we've been there for each other in multiple ways.
Very much like a marriage.
But if you vote for Trump-the-psychopath again, who doesn't care about you
I want a divorce
Dear America: Don’t turn your back on Canada. We won’t forget it.— devon sawa (@DevonESawa) April 3, 2020
Dear America— Bevkus (@Bevkus) April 4, 2020
You hurt me.
They say someone’s true colours shine in a crisis. I guess this is yours.
Enjoy your masks, asshole. What goes around, comes around.
Dear America,— NPPDPS (@randomerthinks) April 4, 2020
We're really angry. When your leaders were calling covid a hoax, we were preparing for the worst. But we couldn't have expected our closest ally & friend to betray us.
If you don't change your mind, the only thing we will do is never, ever, ever, forget this.
Dear America:— Count Floyd 🇨🇦 (@CountFloyd2020) April 4, 2020
It's time we started seeing other countries.
It's not us, it's you.
N95 masks are crucial for the safety of frontline health-care workers battling COVID-19, and 3M has said ceasing exports would actually be detrimental to both countries.
“There are...significant humanitarian implications of ceasing respirator supplies to healthcare workers in Canada and Latin America, where we are a critical supplier of respirators. In addition, ceasing all export of respirators produced in the United States would likely cause other countries to retaliate and do the same, as some have already done,” the company said in a statement this week.
“If that were to occur, the net number of respirators being made available to the United States would actually decrease. That is the opposite of what we and the Administration, on behalf of the American people, both seek.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pushed back against the U.S. keeping the N95 masks for itself, and said on Friday that he was in contact with American officials to highlight “the level of integration between our economies.”
“We are receiving essential supplies from the United States but the United States also receives essential supplies and products and indeed healthcare professionals from Canada every single day… These are things that Americans rely on.”
At his daily press briefing on Saturday, Trudeau added that Canada wasn’t looking to be “punitive” or “retaliatory.”
“We know it is in both of our interests to work collaboratively and cooperatively to keep our citizens safe and that’s very much the tenor of our conversations and I’m confident that we’re going to get there.”
Ontario Premier Doug Ford expressed disappointment at the move from the White House and said the province wouldn’t be relying on any other country moving forward.
“When you sit back and you think of your allies, and the wars we’ve gone through, and we’ve stood shoulder-to-shoulder fighting the same enemies, and now we have an enemy and we’re at war and they want to shut things down with their closest ally in the world? That’s unacceptable,” he said Saturday.
“Just imagine if Canada had one item and we all of a sudden cut the U.S. off, that they were in desperate need in a desperate time? I can tell you Canadians wouldn’t do that.”
“I am just so, so disappointed right now. We have a great relationship with the US and then all of sudden, they pull these shenanigans? … When the cards are down you see who your friends are, and I think it’s very clear over the last couple days who are friends are" - Doug Ford pic.twitter.com/1MZdsl5qZZ— Mackenzie Gray (@Gray_Mackenzie) April 4, 2020
You find out who your friends are when the cards are down, the premier added.
“And I think it’s been very clear over the last couple of days who our friends are.”
Earlier in the week, Canadians were similarly outraged when Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said he would accept the 49 people from his state that were passengers on a cruise ship circling near his shores for weeks, leaving other Americans and hundreds of Canadians still aboard.
Many called the situation a reverse “Come From Away,”, referring to the hit musical set in Gander, Nfld. during Operation Yellow Ribbon, when hundreds of flights were diverted to Canada after the 9-11 terrorist attacks in 2001. Gander, a town with a population of less than 10,000 at the time, took in nearly 7,000 stranded passengers.
It's like Come From Away in reverse. Pardon my language but what an asshole. I'll never go back to Florida. https://t.co/cu7oKrHgG3— JordanHeath-Rawlings (@TheGameSheet) April 1, 2020
Remember 9/11?— Mmfradette (@mmfradette) April 1, 2020
Come From Away?
We remember, and won’t forget https://t.co/RKInTjC9it
For my American friends: "Come From Away" and "Gander" are trending in Canada, as Canadians remember the thousands of Americans who were given comfort in Newfoundland when they had to land in Gander on 9/11. https://t.co/k9e8puuyxo— Chris Jones (@EnswellJones) April 2, 2020
WOW, Florida. You don’t crack down on Spring Break crowds, you refuse to help your own citizens, or the Canandian snowbirds who pour $ into your economy. Ever heard of Gander, Newfoundland, 9/11? Come From Away? Look it up. #florida— LIZPR (@LIZPR) April 2, 2020
So the governor of Florida won't allow a few Canadians to come off a cruise ship and shelter in his state, after Newfoundland, Canada, gave shelter to over 7000 Americans during 9/11? Yeah, you're welcome, America. #ComeFromAway— Gloriously Horrible (@jsopercook) April 2, 2020
After 9/11, Canada opened its arms to America. We took your planes, let you in our homes, gave you our food and our love. Now, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis refuses to let 400 Canadians on a cruise ship dock to come home and get help. We would help 400 Americans. Eat shit, Ron.— emotional support whale ☭✝️🏳️🌈🌹🌺🐈 (@whale_collector) April 2, 2020
I tell you, lots of snowbirds will be reconsidering Florida when this is over.@GovRonDeSantis will cost his state millions in Canadian tourism.— @vancitydan 🌏✌️ (@vancitydan) April 2, 2020
Our entire country opened it's arms, unreservedly, when 9/11 happened.
Now he is leaving 400 Canadians on a boat ?
We'll remember. https://t.co/TcpzmQkbwE
Some thought the selfish actions of the state would turn into a spiritual sequel to the musical.
2001: Canada helps America time of great need.— Olefin 🌻 (@OlefinTheHusky) April 2, 2020
2013: We make a musical (Come From Away) to celebrate the good that happened.
2020: America shafts 400 Canadians in a time of great need.
20xx: We'll make another musical alright.
Working Title: "Florida Man"
There's a sequel to "Come From Away." It's "Get the Fuck Out of Here." https://t.co/KMW2ZpIBBb— Stephen Marche (@StephenMarche) April 2, 2020
Many Americans also chimed in, noting they were embarrassed and ashamed of their country’s actions.
I have been embarrassed to be a citizen of the US many times since trump became president. But today might be the most embarrassing-that we strand 400 Canadians on a boat off of Florida—when Canadians welcomed us with open arms in 9/11. They fought and died for us thereafter...— Benjamin Neel (@DrBenNeel) April 2, 2020
On Sept. 11, 2001, a small town in Canada gave shelter and nourishment to 7,000 Americans whose flights were grounded. Now, Gov. DeSantis of Florida will not allow a few Canadian citizens to come off a cruise ship and offer shelter. I am embarrassed and infuriated...our country.— Patrice (@patrice_noonan) April 2, 2020
It's like "Come From Away" but in reverse https://t.co/nR1g5iCDV9— David Frum (@davidfrum) April 1, 2020
Hey @RonDeSantisFL @GovRonDeSantis, you disgust me—how could you leave 400 Canadians to languish on that cruise ship??? Canadians opened their airports and homes to stranded American passengers on 9/11. The world sees your inhumanity and stupid Trump devotion. Shame on you.— Dani S. The “S” is for “Stay Home!” (@Maddarilke) April 2, 2020
Anyone who had the privilege of seeing Come From Away knows well how gently, kindly Americans were treated in the aftermath of 911. The Governor of Fl. has much to learn about being a human being and yes, for shame. https://t.co/9pu21xYhr2— Pat Fox (@patfoxli) April 2, 2020
The Trump administration also reportedly wanted to station American troops at the U.S.-Canada border to deter people trying to illegally cross the border who might be carrying the virus. Canada and the U.S. have already agreed to send back asylum seekers coming from one country to the other, either at official or unofficial points of entry.
The proposal was met with much pushback from Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, who called it “unnecessary.” The idea was dropped after Canada “strenuously objected to the idea,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
First the POTUS wants to station the military along the border with Canada. Now he tells 3M to stop sending medical supplies to Canada? What the fuck does he have against our country?— Billy (@TFCHooligan69) April 4, 2020
Canada always supported the U.S.A.— Jon@🏡 STAY THE F HOME (@jonliedtke) April 3, 2020
In Vietnam we supplied military goods because of a joint defense agreement, on 911 thousands of Americans were grounded & treated like family.
Under Trump we get talk of a militarized border & private companies urged to not supply Canada w/ PPM
First tariffs, then wanting military along the us/Canadian border and now taking PPE meant for Canada. Sad that one man can kill the relationship between Canada and the USA.— 🇨🇦 Jenna W 🇨🇦 (@Jenwaters441) April 3, 2020
The prime minister also said on Saturday that he is asking his ministers to investigate reports that medical equipment that was destined for Canada was ending up stuck in the U.S.
“I’ve heard reports on this issue and of course they’re concerning, we need to make sure that equipment that is destined for Canada gets to and stays in Canada.”
Also on HuffPost
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.