Perspectives: Omicron Travel Ban Sparks Cries of Hypocrisy, Anti-Trump Media Bias

Headline Roundup November 30th, 2021

New COVID-19 travel restrictions in the U.S. have revived the debate over immigration bans and national security, sparking criticisms of media bias and political hypocrisy.

President Joe Biden banned travel from eight African nations for non-U.S. citizens Monday in response to the emerging Omicron COVID-19 variant: Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe. The ban prompted many on the political right to recall Biden's past stances on travel bans. In January 2020, former President Donald Trump banned travel from China as the COVID-19 pandemic began, and also cited separate security concerns in banning immigration from several African nations. In response, a campaigning Biden tweeted that Trump's new "African Ban" was "designed to make it harder for black and brown people to immigrate to the United States." Biden also tweeted in March 2020 that "Banning all travel from Europe — or any other part of the world — will not stop" COVID-19.

Right-rated outlets covered the situation more prominently, and often focused on purported examples of liberal media bias and hypocrisy from Democratic politicians. Many framed Biden's past tweets as evidence that he and Democrats worked to paint Trump as a racist for what may have been well-intentioned and effective policies. Some coverage from left-rated sources pointed out that Biden's "African Ban" tweet was not connected to COVID-19 restrictions, and that Biden showed support for the China ban several months later.

From the Left
13320
ANALYSIS

Conservatives are accusing President Biden of hypocrisy after he announced travel restrictions against eight African countries.

During the 2020 campaign, critics noted, Biden accused former President Donald Trump of racism and xenophobia for enacting similar travel bans.

Despite the way it is being framed in some outlets, however, the tweet embedded below does not actually address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Instead, it was posted in response to a Trump administration policy that would make it more difficult for citizens of Nigeria, Sudan, Tanzania, Eritrea, Myanmar, and Kyrgyzstan to obtain immigrant visas. When asked...

Read full story
From the Right
13320
ANALYSIS

President Joe Biden had barely contained the delta COVID-19 variant when he slapped travel bans on South Africa and seven neighboring countries as he waits for more information regarding the new omicron strain.

But Biden's decision to close the U.S. border to southern African visitors has been blasted by travel lobby groups and attracted hypocrisy complaints after he seemed to suggest former President Donald Trump's travel bans were "xenophobic."

Biden's travel ban is "symbolic," according to public health communications expert Glen Nowak. For Nowak, a former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spokesman, movement...

Read full story
Some content from this outlet may be limited or behind a paywall.
From the Right
13320
ANALYSIS

President Biden imposed a travel ban on several African countries in the wake of the new strain of the coronavirus, the omicron variant, despite calling his predecessor "racist" and  "xenophobic" for imposing his own travel restrictions - a flashback the media has largely ignored. 

In 2017, then-President Trump imposed travel restrictions on six predominantly Muslim countries over concerns of improper vetting. Liberal media often referred to it as the "Muslim ban." When Covid began spreading throughout the world at the beginning of 2020, Trump would then block travel from China and six other countries, including...

Read full story