Doocy Questions Psaki About Biden Flip-Flop On Travel Restrictions: Biden Called It Xenophobic
Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy questioned press secretary Jen Psaki on why President Biden has seemingly changed his stance on travel restrictions after criticizing former President Donald Trump for imposing a travel ban on China early last year.
“When President Trump was imposing travel restrictions in March, specifically on China, then-candidate Biden called it ‘xenophobic’ and ‘fearmongering,’” Doocy said to Psaki.
.@PDoocy: "When…Trump was imposing travel restrictions in March, specifically on China…Biden called it 'xenophobic' and 'fear-mongering.'
Now, President Biden is putting travel restrictions on people coming in from other countries.
What word do we use to describe that?" pic.twitter.com/kgXD3vkB5k
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) January 25, 2021
Psaki responded by pointing to Trump’s alleged “Muslim ban” as the policy Biden had previously disagreed with, claiming that the new president has always been supportive of travel bans designed to stop the spread of COVID-19.
“I don’t think that’s quite a fair articulation,” she said. “The president has been clear that he felt the Muslim ban was xenophobic. He overturned the Muslim ban. He also, though, has supported … travel restrictions in order to keep the American people safe, to ensure that we are getting the pandemic under control. That’s been part of his policy.”
Psaki said the last administration’s approach was not “comprehensive” enough to stop the pandemic.
“But he was critical of the former president for having a policy that was not more comprehensive than travel restrictions,” she said. “And he conveyed at the time, and more recently, the importance of having a multifaceted approach, mask-wearing, vaccine distribution, funding in order to get 100 million shots in the arms of Americans in the first 100 days.”
But Biden was initially critical of Trump’s plan to block travel from China in the early stages of the pandemic.
“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,” Biden said the day after Trump announced the restrictions. “He is the worst possible person to lead our country through a global health emergency.”
The travel restrictions Psaki was alluding to was Trump’s 2017 decision to end travel from seven majority-Muslim countries, which Biden had also criticized as “plain wrong.” One of the first executive orders Biden signed as president was to overturn that policy.
Biden was also a repeat critic of Trump’s coronavirus travel restrictions, saying in March that “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,” Biden said.
Biden on Monday took a similar approach to Trump’s, reinstating a travel ban that will affect non-U.S. citizens traveling from the United Kingdom and much of Europe, as well as adding South Africa to the list of restricted countries.
“With the pandemic worsening, and more contagious variants emerging around the world, this is not the time to be lifting restrictions on international travel,” Psaki said of the new policy.
Author: Michael Lee
Source: Washington Examiner: Peter Doocy questions Psaki about Biden flip-flop on travel restrictions: ‘Biden called it ‘xenophobic’