House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D) promoted tourism to San Franciso, California’s Chinatown and was moving forward with legislation to prevent presidents from issuing travel bans while President Trump implemented a travel ban from China to stop the spread of the Chinese coronavirus.
On Sunday, Pelosi criticized Trump’s travel ban for not being expansive enough in stopping travel from China in the middle of the coronavirus crisis, telling CNN “tens of thousands of people were still allowed in from China. So it wasn’t as it is described as this great moment.”
Pelosi argued Trump should have kept American citizens and green card-holders in China rather than allowing them to return to the U.S. As the New York Times noted, nearly 40,000 individuals have returned to the U.S. from China since the implementation of the travel ban on February 2.
“There were Americans coming back, green card holders coming back, but there were tens of thousands,” Pelosi continued. “If you’re going to shut the door because of an evaluation of an epidemic, then shut the door.”
While Trump implemented the travel ban, Pelosi was promoting tourism to San Francisco’s Chinatown and working with House Democrats to try to block Trump’s ability to executively issue travel bans.
On February 24, Pelosi spoke with local media in Chinatown to urge tourists and Californians to continue frequenting the neighborhood:
We should come to Chinatown. Precautions have been taken by our city. We know that there is concern surrounding tourism, traveling all throughout the world, but we think it’s very safe to be in Chinatown and hope that others will come. It’s lovely here. The food is delicious, the shops are prospering, the parade was great. Walking tours continue. Please come and visit and enjoy Chinatown. [Emphasis added]
Pelosi said on January 31:
In the coming weeks, the House Judiciary Committee will mark-up and bring to the Floor the No Ban Act to prohibit religious discrimination in our immigration system and limit the President’s ability to impose such biased and bigoted restrictions. We will never allow hatred or bigotry to define our nation or destroy our values.
As Breitbart News reported, the No Ban Act would have allowed travelers from Wuhan, China — the origin of the coronavirus — to continue to arrive in the U.S. while Trump received guidance from Congress.
Trump has implemented travel bans on China, Iran, and Europe to prevent the spread of the coronavirus to the U.S. Most recently, the president announced an order slowing green card processing for certain foreign nationals while more than 26 million Americans are unemployed.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.