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.