Both President Donald Trump and Democratic Party presidential candidate Joe Biden twisted facts about the government’s travel restrictions on coronaviruses for those who had been to China.
Trump has repeatedly boasted, as he did 4 April, that “I stopped people from China very early – very, very early – to come to our country.” On April 1st Trump said that “banning dangerous foreign travel that threatens the health of our people” is one of the actions taken by his government that is “far earlier than people think and far ahead of others.”
In “This Week” ABC On April 5, Biden said “45 countries had moved” to limit travel from China “before the president moved.” Biden said, “We started very slowly.”
The US has not acted “far ahead of others” in imposing restrictions on travel from China, as Trump has accused, nor is it too late to enter into action compared to other countries around the world, as Biden said.
ThinkGlobalHealth, a project on the Council on Foreign Relations, has tracking travel restrictions in China due to COVID-19. A country-by-country analysis of the dates and types of travel restrictions shows that in the days after the World Health Organization on January 30 declared Public health emergency corona virus outbreaks of international concern, 36 countries imposed travel restrictions, including the US, on February 2.
“What this data shows is that the United States is not behind or ahead of the curve in terms of imposing travel restrictions on China,” a co-author of the tracker, Samantha Kiernan, a research partner on global health, economics and development at the Council on Foreign Relations, notified us via email.
The day after the WHO decision, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar declared public health emergency for U.S. for Coronavirus and novels was announced Travel restrictions to and from China, valid February 2 Policy banned non-US citizens, other than close family members of US citizens and permanent residents, who have traveled to China in the past two weeks entering the US.
As we have written, Trump incorrectly called the policy “a travel ban” or claimed that he “closed down“All travel between countries. There are exceptions, including for Americans and their family members and for trade. Trump has also repeatedly and misled issued his decision to impose travel restrictions as a “bold” move made “against the advice of almost everyone.” Azar said the decision came from “uniform recommendations from career public health officials here at HHS.”
On the day the White House announced travel restrictions, Biden did tell campaign event in Iowa that when the pandemic spread, Americans “need to have a president they can trust what he says about it, that he will act rationally about it. “He added,” This is not the time for Donald Trump’s record of hysteria and xenophobia – hysterical xenophobia – and fear to lead the way instead of science. “
Biden Campaign the word “Biden’s reference to xenophobia is about Trump’s long record of scapegoating when a virus emerges from China,” and that he is not talking about travel bans.
April 3 Biden campaign said Biden supports Trump’s decision to impose travel restrictions on China.
Biden, April 5: You have to be faster than slower. And we started very slowly. He showed that I praised him in dealing with China. Yes, you know, 45 countries have moved to guard – preventing Chinese personnel from coming to the United States before the president moves. So, this is just – it’s about speed. It’s about – it’s about urgency. And I don’t think that’s enough, urgency.
According to Kiernan, the co-creator of ThinkGlobalHealth trackers regarding travel restrictions in China, 46 countries and regions (Macau and Hong Kong) imposed travel restrictions in China that came into force before US restrictions came into effect. (Although the US announced its travel restrictions on January 31, they did not take effect until February 2). Twelve other countries’ travel restrictions on China took effect on February 2, the same day as the US.
Most of the countries’ decisions come in the days immediately after the WHO declared the corona outbreak as a public health emergency of international concern, Kiernan said.
“To be fair, the United States was one of the first Western countries to impose any kind of formal travel restrictions on China,” Kiernan told us. “With the exception of the Czech Republic (visas suspended seven days after the US imposed restrictions) and Italy (flights suspended two days before the US imposed restrictions), the EU does not impose travel restrictions on China specifically. Australia imposes a ban on entry from tourists from China, which is very similar to the United States, the day before the United States acts. New Zealand and Israel imposed a travel ban on the same day as the United States. “
In general, he said, the earliest countries to impose travel restrictions on China were the countries of Asia and the Pacific.
“The Marshall Islands, for example, imposed the earliest travel ban on China on January 24,” Kiernan said. “North Korea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Macau, Kazakhstan, Micronesia, Laos, Malaysia, etc. All imposed some sort of travel restrictions on China in January as well. Some African countries imposed travel restrictions on China in January as well, such as Mauritius and the Seychelles. “
“By combining all of this, this data shows that the United States is not behind or ahead of the curve in terms of imposing travel restrictions on China,” Kiernan said.
The United States announced its limits a day after WHO declared a public health emergency, “and the restrictions took effect two days later. However, saying the United States was one of the first countries to impose restrictions on entry for tourists from China is wrong, “he said. “According to my calculations, about twenty countries and regions (Hong Kong) imposed a similar entry ban if not tighter than the U.S. ban before the United States imposed its limits.”
That contradicts the narrative of Trump and Biden.
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