Democratic presidential front-runner and former Vice President Joe Biden has come out in support of President Donald Trump's Jan. 31 decision to ban travel from China as the coronavirus spread, after accusing the president of "xenophobia" several times since the plan was announced.
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"Joe Biden supports travel bans that are guided by medical experts, advocated by public health officials, and backed by a full strategy," Biden's campaign deputy manager, Kate Bedingfeld, told CNN Friday, saying of President Trump's China travel ban: "Science supported this ban, therefore he did too."
On the same day the travel ban was announced by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar two months ago, Biden told a crowd at a campaign rally in Iowa, "This is no time for Donald Trump's record of hysteria and xenophobia, hysterical xenophobia, and fearmongering to lead the way instead of science," the Washington Examiner reported.
Biden tweeted a similar message the next day:
We are in the midst of a crisis with the coronavirus. We need to lead the way with science — not Donald Trump’s rec… https://t.co/n8vyHlTLL1— Joe Biden (@Joe Biden)1580594460.0
Last week, President Trump told Fox News that Biden labeled him a racist because of the travel ban. "I had Biden calling me xenophobic," the president said on "Hannity." "He called me racist, because of the fact that he felt it was a racist thing to stop people from China coming in."
The Biden campaign denies that the Democratic candidate was referring to the travel ban. Bedingfeld told CNN Biden's "reference to xenophobia was about Trump's long record of scapegoating others at a time when the virus was emerging from China."