House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said during a hearing on Tuesday that restricting foreign nationals in response to the coronavirus outbreak will not aid the public health.
The House Rules Committee discussed H.R. 2486, the Democrats’ No Ban Act, on Tuesday. The bill would prevent President Donald Trump from using his executive authority for suspending foreign nationals’ entry into the country to protect Americans from coronavirus.
Nadler said that restricting foreign nationals’ travel to the United States amid the coronavirus outbreak would not aid public health.
Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ), a member of the House Rules Committee and Freedom Caucus, asked Nadler, “Do you think then that it is appropriate under 212(f) for the COVID-19 response?”
Nadler responded, “No, I don’t because it’s irrational and doesn’t help the public health.”
Nadler’s comments follow Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) telling Fox News on Monday that he would not close the country’s borders to stop the spread of novel coronavirus.
What you don’t want to do right now when you have a president who has propagated xenophobic, anti-immigrant sentiment from before he was elected. What we need to do is have the scientists take a hard look at what we need to do. There are communities where the virus is spreading. What does that mean? It may mean self-quarantine, maybe not having public assemblies.
But let’s not go back to the same old thing. Isn’t it interesting that a president who has been demagoguing and demonizing immigrants, the first thing that he can think about is closing down the border. So we need scientists to tell us the appropriate approach, not a political approach.
The Vermont senator’s comments run counter to the New England Journal of Medicine, which contended that travel restrictions, “At least on a temporary basis, such restrictions may have helped slow the spread of the virus.”