President Joe Biden faced scrutiny this week over his past attacks on former President Donald Trump regarding pandemic restrictions after the Biden administration announced it was reinstating testing requirements for travelers coming to the U.S. from China.
The announcement from the administration comes as coronavirus numbers in China have skyrocketed in recent weeks, with millions of cases being reported on a daily basis by local health authorities.
“CDC is announcing today that it will implement a requirement for a negative COVID-19 test or documentation of recovery for air passengers boarding flights to the United States originating from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau,” the CDC said in a statement. “CDC is announcing this step to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the United States during the surge in COVID-19 cases in the PRC given the lack of adequate and transparent epidemiological and viral genomic sequence data being reported from the PRC.”
The statement said that the policy will go into effect next week and will require that all passengers two years of age and older will be “will be required to get a test (such as a PCR test or an antigen self-test administered and monitored by a telehealth service or a licensed provider and authorized by the Food and Drug Administration or the relevant national authority) no more than 2 days before their departure from the PRC, Hong Kong, or Macau, and show a negative test result to the airline upon departure.”
Conservatives were quick to point out Biden’s attacks on Trump back in 2020 for putting in place some travel restrictions for those flying into the U.S. from China.
“I always treated the Chinese Virus very seriously, and have done a very good job from the beginning, including my very early decision to close the ‘borders’ from China – against the wishes of almost all,” Trump tweeted on March 18, 2020. “Many lives were saved. The Fake News new narrative is disgraceful & false!”
Biden responded at the time: “Stop the xenophobic fear-mongering. Be honest. Take responsibility. Do your job.”
Biden’s team claimed a week later that the then-former vice president was not criticizing Trump’s coronavirus travel restrictions.
“Vice President Biden was stressing the enormity of the coronavirus threat and the urgent need for a comprehensive response strategy grounded in science and strong government coordination,” said then-campaign spokesman Andrew Bates. “Meanwhile, Donald Trump was disregarding warnings from medical and intelligence experts about the virus. The Vice President has decried Trump’s xenophobia for years, and was saying that it shouldn’t influence the U.S. approach to this outbreak. This was not in reference to coronavirus travel restrictions. Travel restrictions, when supported by science, advocated by public health officials, and backed by a full strategy can be warranted. Travel restrictions can buy time; but here, the time they bought for preparation was squandered when Trump used it to downplay, rather than ready the country for, the disease.”
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) December 28, 2022
So this ISN’T racist? https://t.co/do8YivTZKk
— ConservativeNotCrazy (@IAMMGraham) December 28, 2022
Horrific xenophobia. https://t.co/vXs5Nw2H4R
— Holden (@Holden114) December 28, 2022