Joe Biden: 'Travel restrictions based on favoritism and politics rather than risk will be counter-productive.'
FPI / March 13, 2020
Joe Biden on Thursday unveiled his plan to combat the coronavirus. It does not include a single travel ban on any foreign country or even on Wuhan, the Chinese city where 80,000 infected with the virus reside.
In fact, Biden's plan does not even mention China.
"If implemented, Biden’s plan would mean that flights directly from Wuhan Tianhe International Airport in Wuhan could continue as regularly scheduled into the interior of the U.S. and every major American city," The Daily Caller noted in a March 12 report. "Likewise, the plan would allow for direct flights from Italy and Iran, where more than 25,000 foreign nationals are infected, to continue into the U.S."
“Banning all travel from Europe or any other part of the world may slow it, but as we’ve seen, it will not stop it,” Biden said in an address to the media on Thursday. “And travel restrictions based on favoritism and politics rather than risk will be counter-productive.”
Biden last month had criticized President Donald Trump's order to ban flights to the U.s. from China. Trump's move is credited with preventing the virus from being more widespread in the U.S. Biden called in "xenophobic."
"The only way to stop the threat from infectious diseases like COVID-19 is to detect them early and contain them effectively in communities around the world. Even as we take urgent steps to minimize the spread of COVID-19 at home, we must also help lead the response to this crisis globally. In doing so, we will lay the groundwork for sustained global health security leadership into the future," Biden said. "The Biden administration will build the global coalition necessary to fill urgent global gaps in pandemic preparedness, enhance accountability for those investments, and produce measurable results."
Biden has repeatedly said China is not a threat to the U.S. “The idea that China is going to eat our lunch — it’s like I remember the debates in the late nineties — remember Japan was going to own us? Give me a break,” Biden said in January.
Also part of Biden’s coronavirus plan is a provision that would revamp welfare-dependent legal immigration to the U.S. that Trump has sought to end but which federal courts have temporarily blocked.
Biden's provision would ensure that foreign welfare-dependents are allowed to permanently re-settle in the U.S. with green cards despite their financial burden on American taxpayers amid the public health crisis.
Meanwhile, former Bush administration adviser Karl Rove slammed Biden for using the coronavirus as a fundraising tool.
Appearing on Fox News's "Hannity" on Thursday, Rove noted that Biden after revealing his coronavirus plan had sent out an email to potential donors
"The final page has a 'Donate to Joe Biden' button on it," Rove said. "He's raising money off of it. Here's what it says at the end: 'This is not the time to be complacent — If you are ready to fight for the soul of the nation, you can start by donating to elect Joe Biden by clicking the button below, donate to Joe Biden."
Rove said: "The man is raising money off of the coronavirus challenge facing our country. Does he have no shame? Is there no decency that says, you know what? There are some moments when we shouldn't be taking things and use them for crass political purposes. He's using it for prospecting!"
Rove added that shortly after Biden sent his email soliciting donations, Rove had obtained an email from the DSCC — the Senate Democrats' fundraising arm — that blasted Republicans for allegedly stalling the caucus' bill providing emergency paid sick leave.
Rove said the Republicans only recently received the text of the bill, but within hours the Democrats grew impatient enough to send a fundraising email asking voters what they thought of the perceived delay.
"Have these people no sense of decency? Can we not step away from this for a minute and politicize everything coming down the line, or is everything being used for fundraising?"
Free Press International