House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested Sunday that the Trump administration’s January China travel ban implemented to curb the spread of the novel Wuhan coronavirus should have barred U.S. citizens from returning home.
“Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign told me earlier this month that he supported President Trump’s partial travel restrictions on January 31st blocking foreign nationals from China from coming to the United States. Do you agree that it was the right move by President Trump at the time?” asked Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Pelosi dodged the question and instead lodged criticism that the ban still allowed for thousands of U.S. citizens to come back to American shores from a plagued China.
“Tens of thousands of people were still allowed in from China. It wasn’t as it is described as this great moment, there were Americans coming back or green card holders coming back,” Pelosi said. “If you’re going to shut the door because you have an evaluation of an epidemic, then shut the door.”
Speaker Pelosi on Trump's China travel restriction: "Tens of thousands of people were still allowed in from China. It wasn't as it is described as this great moment. … If you're going to shut the door because you have an evaluation of an epidemic, then shut the door" #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/jpKFxYVCu6
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) April 26, 2020
Pelosi had previously joined the chorus of Democrats criticizing the travel ban as racist.
“The Trump Administration’s expansion of its outrageous, un-American travel ban threatens our security, our values and the rule of law,” Pelosi said in a statement at the time.
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden also condemned the ban as “xenophobic.”
“This is no time for Donald Trump’s record of hysteria and xenophobia,” Biden said during a campaign stop in Iowa.
Joe Biden opposed the China travel restrictions wisely put in place by President Trump in January – restrictions that health experts credit with slowing the spread of coronavirus & saving lives.
If Biden had been in charge, more Americans would have contracted the virus faster. pic.twitter.com/yDXRYl6lOk
— Trump War Room (@TrumpWarRoom) March 12, 2020