President Donald Trump dismissed critics Thursday who claimed he was “xenophobic” when he closed the border to China, saying former Vice President Joe Biden “can’t define the word.”
Xenophobia is a fear of foreigners.
“I had Biden calling me “xenophobic” and yet he can’t define the word. If you asked him what does it mean, I’m sure he couldn’t tell you what it means,” Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity on “Hannity.” (RELATED: ‘Buy American’ — White House Confirms Executive Order That Will End Medical Supply Chain Reliance On China)
“He called me a racist because of the fact that he felt it was a racist thing to stop people from China coming in … So we made a good decision and if he didn’t, we’d have thousands and thousands of more people in very serious trouble right now.”
Trump explained why he decided to cut-off travel from China so early in the coronavirus crisis.
“So I said, ‘How many come in?’ We had massive amounts coming into the country, if you look at it, thousands and thousands a day. So I said, ‘Look, we shouldn’t be doing this.’”
“I made a decision, we can’t have it and people thought it was very tough, some of my own people. I’ll be honest with you, China didn’t think it was too good either and I think we were just absolutely fine with them.” (RELATED: Pompeo Blames Chinese Communist Party For Global ‘Suffering’ Due To COVID-19)
“A lot of the people decided to go to Italy instead, they went to Spain instead and you see the problems they’re having even as smaller countries by comparison you see the problems they’re having but I made that decision, which I’m very proud of in retrospect … ”
Biden was not the only one to accuse the president of xenophobia over his relationship with China during the coronavirus crisis. CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta said Trump calling the COVID-19 virus a “foreign virus” would be seen by “a lot of Americans as smacking of xenophobia.”
Comedian Stephen Colbert said it was “very racist” of Trump to blame China for the coronavirus outbreak. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also claimed it was “racist rhetoric” to link China and the COVID-19 pandemic.