Fact Check: Trump Is Right, Joe Biden Wrong, on ‘Xenophobia’

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:

During a campaign event on January 31, the day Trump banned travel from China, Biden referred to Trump’s plan as “hysterical xenophobia.”

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.

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