After months of attacking President Donald Trump for restricting travel from China in January to slow the spread of coronavirus, former vice president Joe Biden finally admits it was the right thing to do.
Biden’s deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield told CNN Friday that the former vice president “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 conceded.
Democrats seized on xenophobia and racism to launch attacks on the president as he tried to limit the spread of the highly infectious disease across the country. Multiple liberal outlets backed up their Democratic counterparts with numerous stories attacking the China travel ban.
Bedingfield was forced to admit that scientists and health experts had advised Trump to implement the ban in order to contain the disease that was ravaging the Chinese city of Wuhan.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar declared a public health emergency for the novel coronavirus on Jan. 31 and the president also announced the restrictions on travelers entering the U.S. from China. Azar said the decision stemmed from “the uniform recommendations of the career public health officials here at HHS.”
It temporarily barred entry to foreign nationals who had traveled in China within the previous 14 days, with exceptions for the immediate family of U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Americans returning from China were allowed back after enhanced screening at select ports of entry and for 14 days afterward.
Biden immediately went on the attack one day later tweeting, “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.”
The former vice president said on March 12, “Labeling COVID-19 a foreign virus does not displace the accountability for the misjudgments that have taken place so far by the Trump administration. The [Wuhan] coronavirus does not discriminate based on national origin, race, gender, or zip code.” His remarks followed a White House announcement of new travel restrictions to Europe.
Up to last Thursday Biden was still criticizing the president tweeting: “The evidence is clear: Donald Trump ignored the warnings. He failed to act. And now Americans are paying the price.”
Bedingfield claimed Biden’s used of the word “xenophobia” was related to Trump’s use of the term “Chinese virus,” not the travel ban.
“[It] was about Trump’s long record of scapegoating others at a time when the virus was emerging from China,” she insisted.
Biden got an earful from Trump 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale who immediately pounced on him for his belated flip-flop.
“This is a long time lag, even for Sleepy Joe! TWO MONTHS after @realDonaldTrump restricted China travel Biden says he supports it. After 2 months of bashing the restrictions as “xenophobia” & “fear-mongering.” That’s not leadership. That’s bad judgment.” Parscale tweeted.
Trump said last month at a Fox News virtual town hall, “Everybody was against it. Almost everybody, I would say, was just absolutely against it. … I made a decision to close off to China that was weeks early. … And I must say, doctors — nobody wanted to make that decision at the time.”
Health officials have since supported the implementation of even more drastic pandemic policies like shelter-in place orders and social distancing.