Headline RoundupNovember 30th, 2021

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

Summary from the AllSides News Team

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.

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