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Biden’s Travel Restrictions Don’t Follow the Science

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Director at Public Health and American Well-Being Initiative
Joel M. Zinberg, M.D., J.D. is the Director of the Public Health and American Well-Being Initiative at Paragon Health Institute, and a senior fellow with the Competitive Enterprise Institute. A native New Yorker, he recently completed two years as General Counsel and Senior Economist at the Council of Economic Advisers in the Executive Office of the President.

JOE BIDEN never tires of saying his COVID-19 policies follow “the science.” He recently pontificated that he would battle the emerging Omicron coronavirus variant “with science and speed, not chaos and confusion.” So why is he relying on policies that he earlier criticized as xenophobic and ineffective and that are being condemned around the world as racist?

Back in January 2020, little was known about the emerging disease COVID-19 and the virus that causes it, SARS-CoV-2. Tests, vaccines, and treatments were unavailable. All that anyone knew for sure was that the disease seemed to have started in Wuhan, China, and that is where nearly all the known cases were. The Trump administration announced on January 31, 2020, that the United States would temporarily suspend the entry of foreign nationals who had been in China during the prior 14-day period.

Later that day, Biden accused Trump of “xenophobia” and “fear mongering.” So-called “fact checkers” labored mightily to claim that Biden wasn’t specifically referring to the China travel ban when he made his remarks because he might not have been aware of the travel restrictions. But he certainly was aware of the ban when he tweeted the next day, “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.” On March 12, 2020, after Trump expanded the travel ban to include Europe, Biden tweeted, “Banning all travel from Europe — or any other part of the world — will not stop it.”

Biden campaign adviser and now White House chief of staff Ron Klain was certainly aware of the travel restrictions when he testified to Congress on February 5, five days after they were announced. Klain labeled the restrictions an ineffective “Band-Aid” because they did not cover American citizens traveling from China and were based on “the color of the passport someone carries.”

Read the full article in National Review.

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