Fact Checking a Jen Psaki Statement on Whether Biden Once Said Travel Restrictions Were ‘Xenophobic’

At a White House briefing on Monday, press secretary Jen Psaki was asked: “Before Joe Biden was president, he said that COVID travel restrictions on foreign countries were ‘hysterical xenophobia’ and ‘fear mongering.’  So what changed?”

The question came after the Biden administration banned  travel from South Africa, where the latest variant of COVID-19 was recently detected, along with seven other African countries. 

Psaki responded by saying that “what the president was critical of was the way that the former president put out, I believe, a xenophobic tweet; and how he called — what he called the coronavirus; and who he directed it at.”

Psaki was referring to a tweet from March 18, 2020, in which Trump said: “I always treated the Chinese Virus very seriously, and have done a very good job from the beginning, including my very early decision to close the ‘borders’ from China — against the wishes of almost all. Many lives were saved. The Fake News new narrative is disgraceful & false!”

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