Friday, March 27, 2020

AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s inaccurate boasts on China travel ban

TRUMP: “Everybody was against it. Almost everybody, I would say, was just absolutely against it. ... I made a decision to close off to China that was weeks early. ... And I must say, doctors — nobody wanted to make that decision at the time.” — Fox News virtual town hall Tuesday.
TRUMP: “I’ll tell you how prepared I was, I called for a ban.” — news briefing on March 19.
THE FACTS: His decision was far from solo nor was it made over opposition from health experts, as the White House coronavirus task force makes clear. His decision followed a consensus by his public health advisers that the restrictions should take place.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, who was coordinator of the task force at the time and announced the travel restrictions, said Trump made the decision in late January after accepting the “uniform recommendation of the career public health officials here at HHS.”
While the World Health Organization did advise against the overuse of travel restrictions, Azar told reporters in February that his department’s career health officials had made a “considered recommendation, which I and the president adopted” in a bid to slow spread of the virus.
Most major airlines had already suspended flights to China prior to the announcement on Jan. 31, following the lead of several major international carriers that had stopped due to the coronavirus outbreak. Delta, American and United cited a sharp drop in demand for the flights, and an earlier State Department advisory told Americans not to travel to China because of the outbreak.
TRUMP: “And if we didn’t do that, thousands and thousands of people would have died.” — news briefing Wednesday.
THE FACTS: The impact hasn’t been quantified. While Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health has praised the travel restrictions on China for slowing the virus, it’s not known how big an impact they had or if “thousands and thousands” of lives were saved.

There were plenty of gaps in containment.
Trump’s order did not fully “close” the U.S. off to China, as he asserts. It temporarily barred entry by foreign nationals who had traveled in China within the previous 14 days, with exceptions for the immediate family of U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Americans returning from China were allowed back after enhanced screening at select ports of entry and for 14 days afterward. But U.S. scientists say screenings can miss people who don’t yet show symptoms of COVID-19; while symptoms often appear within five or six days of exposure, the incubation period is 14 days.

Although Democratic leaders and Democratic presidential candidates have been highly critical of Trump’s response to the coronavirus, we couldn’t find any examples of them directly and clearly criticizing the travel restrictions.


  1. The media and the left opposed this decision, however. That is who he means by "everyone."
    Despite the fact that all these health officials recommended it, and the fact that it is so obvious in retrospect, the media decried it. They like to present themselves as if they are in line with health officials while Trump is going astray, but the reality is they only agree with health officials when it suits them.
    Just as now many are attacking Dr. Birx because she has opinions they don't like anymore.
    When future decisions are made, they will either turn on Fauci also at some point, or they will craft a phony division between him and Trump and act as if Trump is acting on his own against Fauci's advice (which will be an untrue media fantasy).

    Fauci (and Birx since Pence brought her in) have been behind this US federal govt response from day 1. Trump's decisions will be based on what they recommend. They are his final decisions so he takes credit, but they are behind all of this.

  2. right just ignore his claims about the democrats and ignore what he actually said and did

  3. How dare you to claim Trump doesn't understand the English language!
    Isn't it enough that he is self center and requires constant praise and flattery?


  5. You're really this uninformed?

  6. You mean you have no evidence for your claim?

  7. I just haven't cited them here yet. It would seem that you don't know they exist because you are very overconfidently suggesting otherwise, even with all CAPS, no less. That you don't know something exists, does not mean it actually does not exist. Have you tried even a very rudimentary google search to find such citations yourself before making these declarations? Why not?

    Since I saw the sources in real time, it will be easy for me to do this search and pull them up, but what I don't understand is why you do not?

    Just in this 1 link from January 31st, you have a media outlet (Statnews), various quoted leftist public health officials, and WHO opposing travel bans and restrictions of any kind.

    And even the racism angle from statnews citing unnamed so-called "experts":
    "They also send a punitive message, which could contribute to discrimination and stigmatization against Chinese nationals, experts warned"

    Here is a quote from WHO which obviously has zero credibility and is co-opted by China
    “[W]e reiterate our call to all countries not to impose restrictions inconsistent with the International Health Regulations,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told its executive board. “Such restrictions can have the effect of increasing fear and stigma, with little public health benefit."

    Here's a quote from Rep Engel calling it racist:

    “The United States and other countries around the world have put in place unprecedented travel restrictions in response to the virus,” said Democratic Rep. Eliot L. Engel. “These measures have not proven to improve public health outcomes, rather they tend to cause economic harm and to stoke racist and discriminatory responses to this epidemic.”

    Here's another media opposition piece, from Politico
    And in here we have the racism angle yet again from Ami Bera
    "This is a virus that happened to pop up in China. But the virus doesn’t discriminate between Asian versus non-Asian,” said Rep. Ami Bera (D-Calif.), a former emergency room physician who will preside over Congress' first hearing on the outbreak on Wednesday. “In our response we can’t create prejudices and harbor anxieties toward one population."

    Clearly politico saw this as a partisan issue as they frame it there

    "Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) praised the “decisive action,” saying the government was “erring on the side of caution.” Cotton and other Republicans have urged the administration to go further and implement a ban on all commercial travel to China.

    But the measures have also met with widespread criticism both domestically and internationally."

    Shall I go on? I'm rather tired of doing research for you.

  8. notice that you have not provided evidence for trump's claims

    tough thing about being called out for evidence - since you obviously don't have any

  9. I was asked to provide evidence for my claims.
    Which I just did.
    Did you read the evidence? Or just respond without reading?

  10. nonsense!
    you might be a very important person but the concern was Trump's claim that everyone was against his decision- the health experts,Democrats and Media

    You are just moving the goal posts first you claim - against all evidence - that he only was referring to Leftist and the Media. But all you found was that there was some criticism but it was not NBC the Media Democrats or Doctors in general. in short you are clearly mistaken as is Trump . He is a liar and incompetent. Has significant problems with memory as well as the English language and reality in general

  11. You must have forgotten your own comment. It's right here on the page.

    "Daas Torah Mod BiotechObserver • 16 hours ago
    You mean you have no evidence for your claim?"

    See the, "YOUR claim" part? You asked for evidence of my claim, and I provided it.

    The source was statnews which is a media outlet that reports on healthcare sector news. Another source I provided was politico. Why would my citation have to be NBC? Both of these sources are leftist media outlets. The two authors of the statnews piece are leftist SJWs. The piece quoted several doctors (so did politico), others they term "experts" (which are presumably also doctors) and I provided quotes from several Democrat politicans (ie Engel and Bera).

    Did Donald Trump kill your dog or something? I don't think you added enough insults to the end of your comment.

  12. Sorry, but DT clearly right on this one. Not sure what you were watching.

    Want a quick recap? David Brooks will help overview the White House response for you:
    * March 13 editorial
    * March 20 editorial
    * March 27 editorial

    Trump about-faced from being a truther (i.e., media out to get him by falsely hyping the pandemic risk and hirting our economy) to falsely touting his "tremendously" quick & competent response to recognize & curb the threat. As usual, he happily ignores the historical record of his own statements.

  13. you have comprehension issues
    you made a claim regarding what trump really meant

    he said everybody not some individuals and then said doctors Democrats the Media and the Leftists ALL OF WHICH WAS FALSE and you attempted to defend him. finding a few critics in noway validates his claims or yours. You obviously took a lot of koolaide
    the critics merely pointed out that the restrictions -which had many exemptions -would not stop the virus

  14. Erroneous comment, Passaic Friend.
    The sole question being discussed here was the travel restrictions put in place against China in late January and the characterization of the democrat and media reaction to that particular action taken. That's it. That's the topic.
    Not a report card of all the things you liked and didn't like that Trump said and did about the virus from the beginning until today.

    It seems like people argue here but don't even bother reading the comments and comment threads they are replying to.

  15. "the critics merely pointed out that the restrictions -which had many exemptions -would not stop the virus"

    If you bothered to read any of the sources I provided, and any of the quotes from the detractors, you would see that this comment of yours is completely false. This was not the only aspect of opposition to the restrictions. (As an aside, the very idea that travel restrictions don't stop the spread of a virus is completely nonsensical).
    But, in your Trump as the villain obsession, you are unwilling to read what's on the screen because you decided what it says ahead of time, and you decided he must be lying. So sources and evidence be damned. Quite the inquiries going on over here.

  16. Ah, so be it. I had mistaken it for another discussion that's happening about Trump's Corona response, one also clearly at issue between him & his expert advisors, not the travel ban per se, which, it's true, interests me not so much.

    To answer your aside: I had seen this Post briefly when it appeared. And later I did read through the Comment thread before posting; guess I just didn't connect the one to the other. Also, keep in mind that, as I gather, there's some lag between posting comments and their appearance, so could be some part of your & DT's back'n'forth up above had already happened that I didn't see, if indeed that's what's puzzling you so?


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