Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) told Fox News on Monday night that he would not close America’s borders to protect Americans from becoming infected with the coronavirus, which originated in China, and suggested that doing so was racist.
“But if you had to, if you had to, would you close down the borders?” Fox News anchor Bret Baier asked Sanders.
“No,” Sanders responded. “I mean, what you don’t want to do right now — we have a president who has propagated a 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-quarantining. It may be not having public assemblies,” Sanders continued.
“But let’s not go back to the same old thing,” the Democratic presidential candidate added. “Isn’t it interesting that a president who has been demagoguing and demonizing immigrants, the first thing that he could think about is closing down the border?”
Baier’s question was not in specific reference to the southern border and comes after President Donald Trump moved to quickly stop travel coming from China in early February.
The term “borders” does not only refer to physical borders, like the southern and northern borders, but also refers to ports of entry into the U.S., like airports.
Sanders’ remark appears to imply that he would not have stopped travel even coming from China, which is where the outbreak originated. Well over 80,000 people have been infected with coronavirus in China and over 3,000 people have died there.
Unbelievable: @BernieSanders is asked if he would close the border to prevent Coronavirus from further spreading.
Sanders: "No." pic.twitter.com/xP9kIssjEd
— Chris Martin (@chrisjdmartin) March 9, 2020
The Daily Wire highlighted some of Sanders’ extreme policy stances in a profile piece last year:
Economy: Sanders holds far-left views on economics that place him barely, if at all, to the right of an authentic European-style socialist. He supports punitive taxation and massive redistribution to mollify the purported scourge of wealth and income inequality in America. He has consistently supported substantial tax hikes on income, capital gains, and estates alike. Sanders supports substantial regulation of the financial services sector and large-scale government spending on infrastructure programs. He has generally opposed free trade due to reasons of labor protectionism. He has been critical of the Federal Reserve for allegedly empowering the wealthy. Sanders supports increasing the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15. He has taken a heavy-handed view of antitrust enforcement.
Health Care: Sanders is a longtime support of single-payer socialized medicine, and in many ways is the intellectual progenitor for the current Democratic Party candidate trend of favoring “Medicare for All.” He has often been critical of Obamacare for not going far enough with respect to health care coverage for all uncovered Americans. Sanders has never indicated any willingness to structurally reform fiscally ruinous health care-related entitlement programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid.
Immigration: Although Sanders once was sympathetic to restrictive immigration measures due to reasons of labor protectionism, he has emerged over the past decade as a reliable vote in favor of pro-amnesty, pro-illegal immigration policies. He supports a pathway to citizenship for large swaths of illegal aliens. He has often been very critical of the Trump administration’s efforts at border security and immigration law enforcement.
Foreign Policy: Sanders has consistently opposed an aggressive overseas posture for U.S. foreign policy, and has routinely opposed large-scale U.S. military deployments overseas. He has been skeptical of or outright opposed to U.S. foreign policy missions against a wide variety of hostile actors — both state and non-state actors — across the Middle East. Sanders has long been deeply sympathetic toward communist Cuba — including the open praising of Fidel Castro — and applauded the Obama administration’s efforts at détente with Cuba. He supported President Obama’s Iran nuclear deal and has usually been more sympathetic to the Iranians and the Palestinian-Arabs than he has been to the Saudis and Israelis, respectively. He supports a “two-state solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and has often been very hostile to Israel’s defensive measures against the radical Islamic terrorism that engulfs the Jewish state on all sides. While running for president in 2016, Sanders cited a blatantly false number of Palestinian-Arab deaths that had allegedly resulted from the 2014 Gaza Strip war between the two sides.
Abortion: Sanders is fully pro-abortion, has never voted in favor of any piece of legislation that would restrict abortion, and has recently refused to identify any piece of legislation that he might support that would restrict abortion in any conceivable way. He supports ending the Hyde Amendment, which has historically banned taxpayer funding of abortion, and has vowed to never nominate anyone to the U.S. Supreme Court who is not adamantly in favor of Roe v. Wade.
Guns: Although Sanders’ tenure in the House was marked by his opposition to various gun control measures, his tenure in the Senate has been marked by consistent support for gun control policies. Sanders supports a federal ban on “assault weapons,” supports “universal background checks” (i.e., background checks even for private firearms transfers), and has often criticized Republicans’ purported fealty to the National Rifle Association. Sanders supports a ban on the undefinable sub-class of firearms referred to as so-called “assault weapons” — a line of thought that, if taken to its logical conclusion, could lead to the banning of all semi-automatic firearms in America.