"We are in the midst of a crisis with the coronavirus," Biden tweeted as a presidential candidate last year the day after Trump imposed travel restrictions from China into the United States in response to the spread of the coronavirus. "We need to lead the way with science — not Donald Trump’s record of hysteria, xenophobia, and fear-mongering. He is the worst possible person to lead our country through a global health emergency."
Medical doctor giving injection to make antibody for coronavirus
The day before, in addition to the travel restriction from China, Trump issued a proclamation extending his "travel ban" to six additional countries that included Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan, and Tanzania.
Trump's initial travel ban, issued in 2017, set new criteria for visa applicants and refugees from six predominantly Muslim countries over concerns that individuals coming from those countries could not be properly vetted.
Biden later attempted to walk back the xenophobic comment and claimed during a debate that he was making a broad point about xenophobia and not directly referring to the travel ban.
"A wall will not stop the coronavirus," Biden tweeted in March of 2020. "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."
President Joe Biden points to the Oval Office of the White House as he arrives on Marine One on the South Lawn in Washington, Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, as he returns from Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Biden also referred to Trump's temporary immigration ban from certain African countries as a "disgrace."
Vice-President Kamala Harris also criticized Trump on that issue calling the move "Un-American."
On Friday, the Biden administration announced it is restricting travel into the United States from several African countries in response to a new strain of the coronavirus known as the Omicron variant.
The travel restrictions will apply to South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, and Malawi.
FILE - In this Aug. 31, 2021, file photo, Jack Kingsley R.N. attends to a COVID-19 patient in the Medical Intensive care unit (MICU) at St. Luke's Boise Medical Center in Boise, Idaho. The summer that was supposed to mark America’s independence from COVID-19 is instead drawing to a close with the U.S. more firmly under the tyranny of the virus, with deaths per day back up to where they were in March 2021. (AP Photo/Kyle Green, File)
The European Union, United Kingdom, and Israel have halted air travel to southern Africa in response to the new variant.
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