OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Many politicians are hypocrites at times, but not every president has the benefit of having the mainstream media covering for them when they show their hypocrisy.
But right now Joe Biden does as there have been crickets from the majority of the media on the president’s change of heart on travel bans.
When Donald Trump was in the White House, he introduced a travel ban on China and Africa and later some part of Europe to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and he was excoriated by Biden, who was a candidate for president.
“Trump further diminished 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,” he said on February 1 2020.
Trump further diminished 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. https://t.co/oePD5eSAWY
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) February 2, 2020
The person who is now Biden’s vice president, Kamala Harris, expressed the same concerns on the same day.
“Trump’s extended un-American travel ban undermines our nation’s core values. It is clearly driven by hate, not security,” she said.
Trump’s extended un-American travel ban undermines our nation’s core values. It is clearly driven by hate, not security. https://t.co/x0fHFKRHWo
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) February 1, 2020
These two were really against travel bans. In fact, Biden tweeted about another ban again around a month later saying how futile these bans were.
“A wall will not stop the coronavirus. Banning all travel from Europe — or any other part of the world — will not stop it. This disease could impact every nation and any person on the planet — and we need a plan to combat it,” he said.
A wall will not stop the coronavirus.
Banning all travel from Europe — or any other part of the world — will not stop it.
This disease could impact every nation and any person on the planet — and we need a plan to combat it.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) March 13, 2020
But on Friday, after news of the emergence of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, Biden imposed his own travel ban, hours after Dr. Anthony Fauci said he was not certain one was needed.
“This is really something that’s in motion,” he said during an interview on CNN on Friday morning.
“And we just arranged right now a discussion between our scientists and the South African scientists a little bit later in the morning, to really get the facts,” he said. “Because you’re hearing a lot of things back and forth.
“We want to find out, scientist to scientists, what is going on,” he said.
When he was asked if there should be a travel ban like the one imposed by the United Kingdom he said, “Obviously as soon as we find out more information we’ll make a decision as quickly as we possibly can.”
“That’s the reason why we’re rushing now to get that scientific data to try and make an informed decision about something like that,” the doctor said.
“There is always the possibility of doing what the UK has done, namely block travel from South Africa and related countries,” he said.
“That’s certainly something you think about and get prepared to do. You’re prepared to do everything you need to do to protect the American public,” he said. “But you want to make sure there’s a basis for doing that, and that’s what we’re doing right now.”
But within hours Biden said he spoke to Fauci and other advisors and determined that a travel ban was needed.
“This morning I was briefed by my chief medical advisor, Dr. Tony Fauci, and the members of our COVID response team, about the Omicron variant, which is spreading through Southern Africa.
“As a precautionary measure until we have more information, I am ordering additional air travel restrictions from South Africa and seven other countries,” he said.
“We don’t know a lot about the variant except that it is a great concern and seems to spread rapidly,” the president said.
“I spent about a half hour this morning with my covert team led by Dr. [Anthony] Fauci and so that was the decision we made,” he said.