The Biden administration announced on Wednesday that the U.S. will be regulating travelers coming from China — a precaution that former President Trump had enacted nearly three years ago.
The regulation will begin on Jan. 5 and require travelers to submit a negative COVID test before entering the U.S.
The requirement will be applicable to any traveler, regardless of nationality. Travelers will have to show a negative COVID test no more than two days before their flight.
The decision comes after China’s recent surge of cases, and reportedly, a lack of transparency from China surrounding the surge. China has arguably held the most authoritarian measures for COVID over the past three years.
The difference between Biden implementing a regulation on travelers coming from China, and Trump implementing it, is that when Trump did it, he was lambasted by the mainstream media and specifically, Joe Biden himself.
In January 2020, former President Trump announced restrictions on travel to China — a move many believed was the best thing for slowing the spread and protecting Americans. Biden believed it to be otherwise.
Shortly after the former president’s announcement, Biden tweeted:
“We are in the midst of a crisis with 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.”
Fast-forward a few months after that tweet and Biden again threw accusations at Trump during a virtual meeting with the Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI).
“The pandemic has unleashed familiar forces of hate, fear and xenophobia that he always flames … that have always existed in this society,” Biden said. “But this president brought it with him, and has brought with it a new rash of racial messages, verbal and physical attacks and other acts of hate, some subtle, some overt, against the Asian American and Pacific Islanders.”
Biden and his administration have done a lot of flip-flopping since the early days of COVID — a move that seems commonplace for the administration. After taking office in 2021, Biden implemented travel bans, none of which were called hysterical and xenophobic.