Fox’s Peter Doocy Challenges Jen Psaki on Biden Imposing Travel Restrictions After Criticizing Trump as ‘Xenophobic’
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was confronted by Fox News reporter Peter Doocy on Monday over President Joe Biden’s decision to implement new Covid-19 travel restrictions on travel into the United States.
After Doocy asked Psaki about the Biden administration’s response to left-wing violence in Portland, he brought up the new travel restrictions implemented to protect against new strains of the coronavirus.
“When President Trump was imposing travel restrictions in March, specifically on China, then-candidate Biden called it ‘xenophobic’ and ‘fear-mongering,'” Doocy said.
“Now President Biden is putting travel restrictions on people coming in from other countries,” Doocy said. “What word do we use to describe that?”
“I don’t think that’s quite a fair articulation,” Psaki responded. She countered that Biden said Trump’s “Muslim ban” was xenophobic, and that Biden did support the Covid-19-related travel restrictions imposed by Trump.
“That’s been part of his policy. He was critical of the former president for having a policy that was not more comprehensive than travel restrictions,” Psaki continued. “He conveyed at the time, and more recently, the importance of having a multi-faceted approach, make-wearing, vaccine distribution, funding in order to get 100 million shots in the arms of Americans in the first 100 days, not just travel restrictions.”
Throughout the 2020 election, Trump repeatedly claimed Biden called him “xenophobic” for imposing travel restrictions on China. Whether Biden actually did that is an open debate.
It was January 31, 2020 when former Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced the Trump administration would implement travel restrictions on travelers from China.
The same day, Biden held a campaign event in Iowa where he said “This is no time for Donald Trump’s record of hysteria and xenophobia — hysterical xenophobia — and fear-mongering to lead the way instead of science.”
Biden did not specifically mention the travel restrictions. Politifact noted that Biden’s campaign insisted he wasn’t aware of the restrictions when he made those comments, and that Biden was speaking about Trump broadly.
The next day, Biden took another shot at Trump’s “record of hysteria, xenophobia, and fear-mongering” on Twitter. Again, he did not explicitly mention the China ban in this tweet:
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.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) February 1, 2020
A month later, Biden held a press conference where he accused Trump of fomenting “xenophobia” after the ex-president started referring to Covid as “the China virus.” Biden also said banning travel into the United States might “slow” the virus down, but “it will not stop it.”
It wasn’t until April that Biden took a firm stance on China travel restrictions, when his campaign announced “Science supported this ban, therefore [Biden] did too.”
Watch above, via MSNBC and Bloomberg.
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