CLAIM: Former Vice President Joe Biden tried to claim that he wasn’t referring to the China travel ban as “xenophobia.”
VERDICT: FALSE. Biden used the term “xenophobia” to denounce the ban when President Donald Trump imposed it.
On January 31, President Trump issued a travel ban on China through an executive order. Biden’s response, via The Hill:
“We have, right now, a crisis with the coronavirus,” Biden said in Iowa Friday. “This is no time for Donald Trump’s record of hysteria and xenophobia – hysterical xenophobia – and fearmongering to lead the way instead of science.”
As Breitbart News noted in an earlier fact check, Biden even tweeted to make the point:
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
Biden tried to claim at the second presidential debate on Thursday evening that he was not referring to the travel ban — though he stood by his description of Trump as a xenophobe.
He did not explain the basis for that claim.
It is true that President Trump issued two executive orders that day — one relating to the China travel ban for coronavirus, and one expanding his existing travel ban on terror-prone countries.
Some Democrats attacked the latter, and not the former. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was one. She attacked what she called the “outrageous, un-American travel ban” — but not the China travel ban.
Biden made no such distinction. Trump is right, and Biden is wrong.
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.