Former Vice President Joe Biden claimed Monday that President Donald Trump’s response to the deadly Chinese coronavirus pandemic has fanned the flames of “hate” and “fear” and “nakedly xenophobia” against Asian-Americans, according to The Hill.
Biden leveled the accusations during his virtual remarks to Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) Victory Fund. The presumptive Democrat nominee said President Trump moved too slowly to combat the outbreak that originated in Wuhan, China, adding that his “denials, delays and distractions, many of which were nakedly xenophobic.”
“The pandemic has unleashed familiar forces of hate, fear, and xenophobia that he always flames… that have always existed in this society,” the former vice president said. “But this president brought it with him, has brought with it a new rash of racial messages, verbal and physical attacks and other acts of hate, some subtle, some overt, against the Asian American and Pacific Islanders.”
President Trump implemented a travel ban from China in January as part of an effort to prevent the virus from spreading in the U.S. Biden took aim at the action during a January 31 campaign event in Fort Madison, Iowa, calling the measure “hysterical xenophobia.”
However, in an April statement to CNN, the Biden campaign reversed course by coming out in favor of the travel ban.
“Joe Biden supports travel bans that are guided by medical experts, advocated by public health officials, and backed by a full strategy,” Kate Bedingfeld, Biden’s deputy campaign manager, told the news outlet. “Science supported this ban, therefore he did, too.”
Bedingfeld claimed that Biden’s accused of “xenophobia” referring to President Trump labeling the coronavirus the “Chinese virus.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is among the various leading scientific experts who have praised the administration’s implementation of travel bans on China, saying the move “absolutely” helped prevent further spread of the disease.