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Thomas Gallatin / May 3, 2021

Biden’s Hypocritical India Travel Ban

Biden blasted Trump’s China travel ban as “xenophobic,” but now he’s done the same thing.

On January 31, 2020, a novel and dangerous coronavirus from Wuhan, China, was rapidly spreading. Donald Trump acted decisively and announced a ban on travel from China. At the time, Joe Biden blasted the decision as xenophobic, insisting, “This is no time for Donald Trump’s record of hysteria and xenophobia.”

Two days later, Biden added another charge against Trump’s travel ban by claiming it was unscientific: “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 fearmongering. He is the worst possible person to lead our country through a global health emergency.”

A little over a month later, as the number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. was rising exponentially and as Italy in particular was suddenly becoming overwhelmed with coronavirus patients, Trump expanded his travel ban to include Europe. Once again, Biden assailed Trump’s ban as an absolutely ineffective gesture: “A wall will not stop the coronavirus. Banning all travel from Europe — or any 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.”

(Trump came up with a plan, and Biden plagiarized and claimed credit for it, but that’s another story.)

Trump defended his travel ban by arguing, “I always treated the Chinese Virus seriously, and have done a very good job from the beginning, including my very early decision to close the ‘borders’ from China — against the wishes of almost all. Many lives were saved. The Fake News new narrative is disgraceful & false!”

Nevertheless, Biden was quick to once again dubiously assert that Trump’s ban was xenophobic: “Stop the xenophobic fear-mongering. Be honest. Take responsibility. Do your job.”

Fast-forwarding to this past weekend, the White House announced that Biden would be issuing a ban against travel from India in light of that country’s recent spike in coronavirus cases. “On the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the administration will restrict travel from India staring immediately,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki stated. “The policy will be implemented in light of extraordinary high COVID-19 caseloads and multiple variants circulating in India. The policy will take effect on Tuesday, May 4.”

So, does this make Biden “xenophobic” and “unscientific”? Is he fomenting “hysteria” and “fearmongering”? After all, this is the same man who still insists on wearing a mask even during Zoom calls and while he’s alone outside, despite the fact that he has been fully vaccinated.

Maybe Biden actually does have a bit of xenophobia when it comes to folks from India. Recall back in 2006, he stated, “You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent.” We all thought it was an ill-conceived, off-color joke, but by Biden’s own standard, he’s clearly guilty.

Or maybe as Harmeet Dhillon, former vice chairwoman of the California Republican Party, wryly suggests, “Seriously though, China sent us this virus. China is an arch enemy of India. Biden family is very close to China, as are its corporate cronies. Instead of sending HELP to our ally India, he sets up this ban with no self-awareness of how Democrats characterized travel bans before.”

Either way, Biden laid this political trap for himself. He stupidly insisted that Trump’s sensible policy decision somehow exposed Trump as being xenophobic and racist. It was a baseless charge for which Biden deserves to be held to account and called out for his blatant hypocrisy.

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