CNN editor-at-large Chris Cillizza was roundly ridiculed on social media after he tried to mock President Trump for his stern border policies during the coronavirus pandemic.
Even before the coronavirus began spreading rapidly across the U.S., Trump restricted travel to the U.S. from the hardest hits countries in Asia. Then on March 11, Trump announced he would ban many foreign travelers from Europe for the next 30 days to stem the pandemic.
On Monday, Trump wrote on Twitter: “THIS IS WHY WE NEED BORDERS!”
Cillizza, a frequent critic of President Trump, made an attempt to be witty in response. “Viruses don’t, uh, recognize borders.”
Viruses don't, uh, recognize borders https://t.co/witGVrB1nJ
— Chris Cillizza (@CillizzaCNN) March 23, 2020
That didn’t work out too well.
“How do you think viruses cross borders, Chris?” Human Events managing editor Ian Miles Cheong wrote in response to Cillizza’s post.
“Cillizza’s hot take is ‘viruses don’t recognize borders’ as countries around the world are temporarily closing their borders,” Daily Caller social media manager Logan Hall said.
cillizza’s hot take is “viruses don’t recognize borders” as countries around the world are temporarily closing their borders https://t.co/xgQVNEMXpv
— Logan Hall (@loganclarkhall) March 23, 2020
Others jumped into the fray.
“Viruses, uh, are transmitted by human beings,” wrote Washington Examiner reporter Jerry Dunleavy.
“The curve of media intelligence has been flattened,” joked comedian Dave Cooperman.
“Cillizza thinks that this is a good point? People who carry viruses do, however, respond to checkpoints and border security,” RealClearInvestigations senior writer Mark Hemingway said.
Experts of the spread of viruses have said the travel restrictions and bans across the world, with many countries closing borders, have helped to slow the spread of the virus.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) also piled on, asking Cillizza: “Then why are counties all over the planet closing their borders?”
He posted another zinger, saying: “So was it good or bad that the US halted flights in and out of China?”
Then why are counties all over the planet closing their borders? https://t.co/Qj8hkXGDg9
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) March 23, 2020
So was it good or bad that the US halted flights in and out of China? https://t.co/Qj8hkXGDg9
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) March 23, 2020
For the record, the coronavirus did — in fact — come across the U.S. border when infected people arrived in America. Since then, it has spread rapidly, infecting 46,485 and killing 592, according to the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering.
Trump on Friday announced that travel restrictions that he imposed with Canada earlier in the week would also be applied to Mexico. “We are working closely with Mexico and closely with Canada. Our relationship has never been better. We are working for the same goal. Our nation’s top healthcare and officials are concerned of the great public health consequences of mass uncontrolled cross border movement,” Trump said during a daily White House briefing on the crisis.
“Every week we encountered thousands of unscreened and unvetted of entries from dozens of countries and we had this problem for decades, for decades,” he said.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the restrictions, which will allow for trade between the countries, are key.
“We have taken two important steps. President Trump announced on Wednesday, the United States and Canada jointly agreed to restrict non-essential traffic across our borders, it goes into effect at midnight and excludes crossing the border unless for work or other essential reasons,” Pompeo said. “The United States and Mexico have [also] agreed to restrict non-essential travels across our shared borders. Both our countries know the importance of working together to limit the strength of the virus. Commerce continues to keep flowing.”