Will new restrictions on travel from Africa to the United States protect Americans from the COVID-19 Omicron variant? The jury is still out on that, even as reasonable people may worry more that the chance to continue fearmongering is driving some of the alarmism.
But one thing we know for sure is that the same people who are praising Biden’s decision to restrict travel from areas where the new strain has been detected were singing a very different tune when the same tactic was employed by former President Donald Trump. When asked directly on Monday whether Biden was a hypocrite for criticizing measures that he has now employed, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki responded with what can only be described as a brazen lie.
Psaki claimed Biden “has not been critical of travel restrictions — we have put those in place ourselves.” She said Biden’s claim as a presidential candidate that Trump’s travel ban was racist was merely criticizing a tweet and that Biden was consulting with scientists and Trump was not. These assertions are false.
Biden: Trump’s Travel Ban Is Racist
By restricting travel from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, and Malawi, President Biden is following in Trump’s footsteps. Trump imposed restrictions on travel from China on Jan. 31, 2020. On that same day, Trump extended previous travel restrictions on countries that were deemed hotbeds of terrorism, in a move Democrats labeled a “Muslim” ban though the measures were not imposed on most nations with Muslim majorities.
Speaking and tweeting the day after Trump’s moves, Biden said that by halting traffic from China as well as Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan, and Tanzania (four of which are located in Africa), Trump was diminishing “the U.S. in the eyes of the world by expanding his travel ban.” “This new ‘African Ban’ is designed to make it harder for black and brown people to immigrate to the United States. It’s a disgrace, and we cannot let him succeed,” Biden continued.
In the eyes of Democrats and their faithful corporate media cheering section, Trump’s efforts to halt the spread of the disease were nothing but a function of what they termed the former president’s xenophobia. As Biden campaigned successfully on the claim that Trump’s efforts to halt the spread of the virus were unsuccessful and that he would provide better leadership based on “science,” Biden also derided Trump’s travel bans as an extension of his obsession with building walls and more proof of his alleged racism.
Also Biden: Implements a Travel Ban
But flash forward more than a year and a half later, and it’s now apparent that for all of his talk of science and competence, Biden’s performance in dealing with the pandemic is no more successful than Trump’s. He touts vaccines as the only answer to the disease but never gives credit to his predecessor for developing them in record time, despite the skepticism that he and other Democrats evinced — not only about the chances of success but also about the reliability of any medicine developed under Trump.
Even worse, the number of deaths from COVID-19 in 2021 has now exceeded the total who died from the virus in 2020, when Trump was president. Blaming Biden for those deaths may be as unfair as his own specious claims that the death toll in 2020 should be laid directly at Trump’s feet. But it’s equally obvious that, judging Biden’s policies on both travel and vaccine mandates by the same standards he applied to Trump, the current president would be guilty of not only incompetence but also racism.
Biden apologists, like those at The Washington Post, claim that Biden’s criticisms of Trump’s travel bans were more about the tone of his rhetoric than anything else, though even that paper’s “fact-checker” admits the evidence for that defense is, at best, shaky.
But if Trump’s efforts to check terrorism and the spread of COVID-19 disproportionately affected Muslims and later Africans, the same can be said of Biden’s effort that targets only Africans. Clearly, the Africans think so. But leftist publishing and broadcast outlets that routinely labeled Trump’s policy as inherently racist no longer feel that way. Apparently, they have suddenly discovered that the same policies are kosher when applied by a Democrat administration.
Democrats’ Vaxx Mandates Discriminate Against Black People Too
We’ve already seen that the vaccine mandates embraced by Biden and various Democrat-run states and cities have also produced results that show, by any reasonable definition, a disparate impact on black Americans. You don’t need to construct a theoretical scenario to understand that when, as in New York City, the non-vaccinated are banned from all restaurants, theaters, and arenas, this will mean the enactment of a new Jim Crow that affects blacks more than whites. The same is true with those who face being fired from their jobs because of the federal government’s efforts to create both private and public sector vaccine mandates.
It’s possible that Biden, like other world leaders, is overreacting to the new variant. After 21 months of government overreach on COVID-19 precautions, skepticism is warranted. But we do know the attacks on Trump over these issues were nothing but partisan propaganda and had nothing to do with genuine concerns about discrimination.
At the very least, Biden and his supporters are hypocrites. But their willingness to employ measures that hurt black Americans and other unvaccinated minorities — all the while spewing spurious claims that unvaccinated Republicans and Trump supporters are the reason why the virus is still out there — means that if anyone is guilty of embracing measures that disproportionately hurt black people, it is Biden, not his predecessor.