Fact Check: Did Joe Biden refer to Trump’s China travel ban as ‘hysteria’, ‘xenophobia’? Here are his words.


WASHINGTON, DC – Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has repeatedly said that President Trump “didn’t act quickly enough” in his handling of the COVID-19 virus. And the president has repeatedly responded to him saying that if it had been up to Biden, far more than 200,000 people would have died.

During their first presidential debate on Tuesday, President Trump, replying to another claim from Biden that he hadn’t acted quickly enough, said:

“I closed [the country], and you said, “He’s xenophobic. He’s a racist, and he’s xenophobic’ because you don’t think I should have closed our country.

“You didn’t think we should have closed our country because . . . you thought it was terrible. You wouldn’t have closed it for another two months. By my doing it for another two months, Dr. Fauci said, ‘President Trump saved thousands of lives.’ ”

On Jan. 31, President Trump banned travel from China.

On the same date, Biden, in a campaign event in Fort Madison, Iowa, referred to Trump’s plan as “hysterical xenophobia.”

In a tweet on that date, Biden said:

“We are in the midst of a crisis with the coronavirus. We need to lead the way with science — not Donald Trump’s record of hysteria, xenophobia and fear-mongering. He is the worst possible person to lead our country through a global health emergency.”

By April 5, however, Breitbart News reported that Biden had flip-flopped, pivoting to support the travel ban.

On April 3, Biden’s deputy campaign manager, Kate Bedingfield, told CNN:

“Joe Biden supports travel bans that are guided by medical experts, advocated by public health officials, and backed by a full strategy.”

“Science supported this ban, therefore he did too.”

Bedingfield equivocated when asked to explain Biden’s comments, saying that the “xenophobia” allegation referred to Trump calling it the “Chinese virus,” not the travel ban.

Read Biden’s comments again. This was more than six weeks BEFORE President Trump connected the virus to China, which was on March 17.

A Breitbart News report from March 26 said that a Pew Research Center survey showed that 95 percent of Americans agreed that “restricting international travel to the U.S.” is the most necessary step in stopping the spread of the coronavirus.

The survey crossed party lines, with 96 percent of Republicans and 94 percent of Democrats agreeing that the travel ban was necessary to fight the virus.

The full context of Biden’s statement on Jan. 31, as reported in CNN was:

“You know we have right now a crisis with the coronavirus, emanating from China. The national emergency and worldwide alerts. The American people need to have a president who they can trust what he says about it. That he is going to act rationally about it.

In moments like this, this is where the credibility of a president is most needed, as he explains what we should and should not do. This is no time for Donald Trump’s record of hysterical xenophobia and fear mongering to lead the way instead of science.”

On Feb. 1, Biden, who had promised to “end the ban” if he were elected in November, issued the following statement in which he declared Trump’s China travel ban “racist” and “xenophobic.”

“Yesterday, Donald Trump further diminished the United States in the eyes of the world by expanding his travel ban, placing new restrictions on the residents of six more nations that limit who is allowed to come into the United States.

“. . . Trump’s atrocious asylum and refugee policies — they are all designed to make it harder for black and brown people to immigrate to the United States. It’s that simple. They are racist. They are xenophobic.

“And there is no evidence that they do anything to make us safer.

“Immigrants from each of these countries and their broader diaspora communities here in the United States enrich the larger fabric of American life as our friends and neighbors and make vital contributions to our economy.”

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On Feb. 15, Biden again went after Trump’s immigration restrictions:

“Donald Trump’s inhumane, fear-based immigration policies are a stain on our nation. We have to get him out of the White House and ensure our laws reflect our values as a nation of immigrants.”

On March 10, Biden continued:

“A wall won’t stop a virus. Racism won’t stop a virus. Do your job.”

Later in March, Biden once again dropped xenophobia. In a mid-March press conference, Biden blasted the president’s calling the coronavirus a “foreign” virus, while saying the United States shouldn’t “panic of fall back on xenophobia. Labeling COVID-19 a foreign virus does not displace accountability for the misjudgments that have been taken thus far by the Trump administration.”

Call us dumb, but that sure looks like Biden was calling the travel ban “xenophobic.”

 In March, President Trump instituted a travel ban from European countries, another move that was condemned by leftists but was praised by Dr. Anthony Fauci, according to NPR.

“If you look at the numbers, it’s very clear that 70 percent of the new infections in the world are coming from that region — from Europe,” while noting that European infections were seeding other areas. Fauci added:

“Second thing: Of the 35 or more [U.S.] states that have infections, 30 of them now, most recently, have gotten them from travel-related cases from that region. So, it was pretty compelling that we needed to turn off the source from that region.”

What did Joe Biden think of the president’s European travel ban?

“A wall will not stop the coronavirus. Banning all travel from Europe — or any other part of the world — will not stop it. This disease could impact every nation and any person on the planet — and we need a plan to combat it.”

That was on March 12.

So, for all of Biden’s bluster about the president “not doing anything” to control the coronavirus, Biden’s own words show that he would have kept the borders open, which could have killed an untold number of Americans far in excess of the 200,000 plus that have died, most in Democrat-controlled states.

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