NYT: “At Least 430,000 People Have Arrived in the United States on Direct Flights From China”
President Donald Trump used the occasion of the Memorial Day holiday to recycle old, debunked lies about his likely Democratic opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden.
In a tweet Trump made several accusations, none of them are true.
Sleepy Joe Biden (mostly his reps.) went crazy when I banned, in late January, people coming in from China. He called me “xenophobic” & then went equally “nuts” when we let in 44,000 people – until he was told they were American citizens coming home. He later apologized!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 25, 2020
A few facts:
Trump’s ban on incoming travel from China was not announced until January 31, and did not go into effect until February 2, at least one month after the Trump administration was notified about the China outbreak. (Reports show the Trump administration knew as early as late November about the dangerous outbreak.) It also forced many infected with coronavirus into the U.S. before the ban went into effect.
Announcing a ban is one thing, taking measures to ensure it locks out those with the coronavirus is another. There are multiple reports that despite Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar promising there would be “proactive entry health screening” at airports to ensure those coming from China were tested for coronavirus, that did not happen.
The 44,000 were not all Americans.
In fact, those coming in from China were not tested at all, and merely told to self-quarantine. They were not actually quarantined.
Similar actions were taken when Trump banned incoming travel from Europe.
Trump’s China travel ban was more of a mesh net.
“Since Chinese officials disclosed the outbreak of a mysterious pneumonialike illness to international health officials on New Year’s Eve, at least 430,000 people have arrived in the United States on direct flights from China,” The New York Times reported last month, “including nearly 40,000 in the two months after President Trump imposed restrictions on such travel, according to an analysis of data collected in both countries.”
The bulk of the passengers, who were of multiple nationalities, arrived in January, at airports in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Seattle, Newark and Detroit. Thousands of them flew directly from Wuhan, the center of the coronavirus outbreak, as American public health officials were only beginning to assess the risks to the United States.
And as former Obama Ebola czar Ron Klain notes, crews from the cargo flights were allowed in, without being tested either.
You limited — not banned — travel in FEBRUARY — not January. You continued to let in crews on cargo ships, planes, and all other transport from China. 45 counties acted before you did — 45 other countries. https://t.co/wSFgS96dzo
— Ronald Klain (@RonaldKlain) May 25, 2020
As for Biden apologizing, Trump has repeated this several times.
It’s a lie.
To be accurate, Biden didn’t directly say Trump is xenophobic but he did say Trump has a “record of hysteria, xenophobia, and fear-mongering.”
Meanwhile, Trump allowed unrestricted air travel without any type of heath checks between European countries like Italy directly into New York City. That’s why the coronavirus pandemic hit the East Coast so hard while the West Coast was not nearly as affected. Facts matter.
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) May 25, 2020
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