President Joe Biden has issued a travel ban from India, as the nation grapples with a surge in COVID-19 cases.
But several Republicans were quick to remind the president of an old tweet he sent last year in reaction to former President Donald Trump issuing travel bans from coronavirus-stricken countries in the early days of the pandemic.
What are the details?
Reuters first reported that Biden signed a proclamation banning most non-U.S. citizens from entering the United States from India, which goes into effect starting Tuesday.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement that the move was made under the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to The New York Times, “the travel restrictions will not apply to citizens or lawful permanent residents of the United States, their spouses or minor children or siblings, or to the parents of citizens or lawful permanent residents who are younger than 21 years old.”
Once the news hit, several Republican lawmakers re-upped Biden’s tweet from last year, where he declared that such bans would not stop the virus. Biden’s tweet was a criticism of Trump, who imposed a travel ban from several European countries the same day. Trump also banned travel from China — where the coronavirus first emerged.
“A wall will not stop the coronavirus,” Biden tweeted on March 12, 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.”
Republican Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert tweeted Friday, “As Biden bans flights from India, perhaps he should be reminded of a tweet he put out last year. Also, I thought travel bans were xenophobic.”
Congresswoman Mary Miller (R-Ill.) also pointed to Biden’s tweet from last year along with the news of his India travel ban, tweeting, “Never Forget!”
Some folks rushed to Biden’s defense.
One person who represented the pro-Biden argument tweeted, “Biden was saying Trump didn’t have an extended plan to combat the virus on multiple levels. Trump was simply shutting the ‘door’ and not engaging with the scientific community to actually FIGHT the disease at the time. Restricting travel is just one tactic.”
The Daily Wire reported that “India has officially reported nearly 18 million coronavirus cases with more than 200,000 deaths, but experts believe that those numbers are severely undercounted.”
On the same day the travel ban was announced, the first shipment of emergency medical aid from the U.S. arrived in India.
CBS News reported that “a U.S. military transport plane carrying more than 400 oxygen cylinders, nearly one million rapid coronavirus test kits and other supplies landed in Delhi on Friday morning.”
The Biden administration announced Monday “that it intended to make up to 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine available to other countries, so long as federal regulators deem the doses safe,” The Times reported. The AsraZeneca vaccine is not yet authorized for use in the U.S.
The first coronavirus vaccines available in the U.S. — by Pfizer and Moderna — were developed during President Donald Trump’s term, under his administration’s “Operation Warp Speed.”