Factchecking Factcheck.org's attempts to cover for Biden

Well, you know, 45 nations had already moved to keep — block China’s personnel from being able to come to the United States before the president moved. Joe Biden, April 5, ABC this week.

This statement is factually incorrect and grossly misleading. Other countries did not prevent China’s personnel from coming to the US, which is a ridiculous thing to allege. If Trump had made similar statement, the mainstream media and liberal factcheckers would be alternating between “Trump lied again” and “Trump is mentally incompetent”.

Even if you give Biden the benefit of the doubt and assume that he really meant that 45 other nations had already restricted travel into their own nations, it is still factually false. Factcheck.org had this lame justification, which actually proves that point:
According to Kiernan, co-creator of the ThinkGlobalHealth tracker on travel restrictions on China, 46 countries and territories (Macau and Hong Kong) imposed travel restrictions on China that came into effect before the United States’ restrictions did.(Although the U.S. announced its travel restrictions on Jan. 31, they did not go into effect until Feb. 2.)

By their own admission, they counted at best 44 nations, and they only after Trump had moved to cut off travel from China; Macau and Hong Kong are not nations by their own admission. In addition, the many of the restrictions came following Trump’s announcement, which means Trump had already “moved”.

What they don’t say is most of the “restrictions” were simply flight cancellations or a restriction on travel from Wuhan, not a nation-wide ban on foreign travelers from China similar to Trump’s ban.

Unlike most other countries, the US does not have a state-owned air line. Instead the US government provides travel warnings and US airlines generally follow the warning, but the effect is the same. On that basis the US had already taken action on January 30. The State Department issued a “do not travel warning” for the entire nation of China, and US airlines responded immediately by drastically reducing the number of flights:

On Thursday, the U.S. State Department raised its travel advisory amid the coronavirus outbreak. The new message is firm: “Do not travel to China.”
The alert, which is a Level 4 (the highest level), cites the fact that the World Health Organization declared a global health emergency . . . United, American and Delta have been reducing their flight schedules between the U.S. and China throughout the week, with the cuts extending from the beginning of February through the end of April, depending on the carrier.

In reality, when Trump announced the ban on foreign nationals coming through China, only Russia, Mongolia, and North Korea had closed their land borders with China. It is unclear what the flight restrictions existed even for those countries.

As of February 2, the actual list of nations that had announce travel bans similar to those of the US: Australia (future tense), Indonesia, India, Israel, New Zealand (Feb. 3), the Philippines, Singapore, and Vietnam had followed the US lead and announced similar restrictions on travelers from or through China. All together, that gives only eleven countries with similar travel restrictions even counting Australia and New Zealand which had not yet come into effect as of February 2. Other countries listed in the Bloomberg article had cut the number of flights or restricted travel from the Wuhan region.

It is clear that Factcheck.org has no interest in honestly evaluating the facts. Instead they are attempting rewrite history and cover for Biden’s mistakes.

Just like no one fact checked that Trump’s “travel ban” as full of holes, badly enforced and was a woefully incomplete step in the battle to contain Covid?

Back and back you go to the travel ban as “proof” Trump’s early moves were effective.

Can’t fault you because it’s all you’ve got.

Last line from the linked factcheck article-
“That contradicts the narratives of both Trump and Biden.

Hey now. Trump’s travel “ban” had 11 exceptions. But that part is ignored.

Right it ignores Biden’s obviously false statements, and equates them with the actions that Trump made.

It relies on statements from WHO as fact. WHO was still saying that travel restrictions were unnecessary into early February. These are the same people who were saying that human-to-human transmission was unlikely for most of January. Only North Korea, Mongolia, and Russia had ended travel from China when Trump made his announcement. The WHO statement used to beat down Trump is clearly false.

Note that Factcheck fails to provide a complete list of alleged countries and the nature of their actions. It makes to a reference Italy cancelling direct flights; cancelling flights does not prevent people from traveling, it merely creates the minor inconvenience of making a connection. It mentions the Marshall Islands which is territory of tiny islands associated with US and not an independent country.

The ban on travelers from China is not 100% effective. The only 100% effect ban would have been to shut our borders completely. Given the thousands of people who already cross illegally from Mexico, even that would be impossible.

Trump’s ban on travelers from China and later from Europe have bought us time. We see what has already happened in Italy and Europe and know what actions appear to have the best chance of working. It also confirms the seriousness of the epidemic, which provide the political basis for necessary actions and overcome fake and misleading reports. For example, CNN was still claiming that the flu is a bigger threat on March 4, even though the epidemic was already exploding in Italy.

Trumps ban bought us time which was then pretty much completely squandered.

The evidence shows that NYC’s outbreak came from Europe not China so not even that much time.

That is incorrect. They did link to the web page that tracks other countries restrictions on China.