Fact Check: Joe Biden Falsely Claims Trump Did Not Ask China to Allow U.S. to Investigate Coronavirus

USTV Pool

CLAIM: Former Vice President Joe Biden claimed that President Donald Trump did not ask China’s Premier, Xi Jinping, to let the U.S. into the country to investigate coronavirus.

VERDICT: FALSE.

This is a false claim that Biden has used before, notably in a campaign ad that claimed — somewhat laughably — that Trump has rolled over for China.

Breitbart News — among others — fact-checked this claim:

Biden claims, for example, that he urged the president to send the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) into China — but that the president did not, and praised China instead. The ad cites Biden’s comments from the Democrat debate on Feb. 25 in South Carolina — the first time any Democrat debate discussed the coronavirus issue: “I would be on the phone with China and making it clear, we are going to need to be in your country; you have to be open; you have to be clear; we have to know what’s going on; we have to be there with you, and insist on it and insist, insist, insist,” Biden said.

But as the Washington Post noted, U.S. officials had already visited China three days before, on Feb. 22. And they had been trying to do so since early January, according to the New York Times in early February: “For more than a month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been offering to send a team of experts to China to observe its coronavirus outbreak and help if it can. But no invitation has come — and no one can publicly explain why.”

The central claim of the ad is false.

The Post gave Biden’s claim “three Pinocchios.”

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is The Trumpian Virtues: The Lessons and Legacy of Donald Trump’s Presidency. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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