Flashback: Biden told Americans in February not to ‘panic about coronavirus’

Democrats have been happily attacking President Donald Trump since Watergate-era journalist Bob Woodward released this week audio recordings on which Trump can reportedly be heard admitting that he initially downplayed the threat of coronavirus pandemic so as not to incite panic. But Fox News host Sean Hannity just destroyed that narrative.

According to Breitbart‘s Joel Pollak, Hannity reminded viewers this week that now-Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden “told Americans not to panic” about COVID-19 while he was on the primary campaign trail earlier this year.

“Barack [Obama] and I, when we were — as president and vice president — we took on the [Ebola] virus that was threatening all of Africa and, uh, the rest of the world,” Biden said in South Carolina on Feb. 28, a clip of which was shared by Hannity, according to Pollak. “And we set up a mechanism that worked,” the former vice president said.

Biden went on: “But I want to take a moment to say it’s not a time to panic about coronavirus, but coronavirus is a serious public health challenge.”

“In the midst of a crisis”

According to Pollak, Biden reiterated his advice to avoid panicking on March 12 in the wake of a declaration from the World Health Organization (WHO) that COVID-19 had reached pandemic status.

But the Democratic presidential nominee wasn’t just reminding people to remain calm in the early days of the outbreak; he was also opposing a move by President Trump meant to contain it.

Specifically, Biden excoriated Trump for imposing a travel ban on countries that had been particularly hard-hit by the coronavirus, such as China, suggesting that the measure was motivated by racism.

“We are in the midst of a crisis with the coronavirus,” the former vice president declared in a tweet on Feb. 1. “We need to lead the way with science — not Donald Trump’s record of hysteria, xenophobia, and fear-mongering.” Biden went on to allege that Trump “is the worst possible person to lead our country through a global health emergency.”

“We want to be careful”

And he wasn’t the only Democrat condemning the move; Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said at a March town hall event that COVID-19 did not justify shutting down the borders.

A month earlier, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) encouraged tourists to continue visiting San Francisco’s Chinatown, and video footage later shared by President Trump showed her in close proximity to other people.

“We want to be vigilant to what is out there in other places. We want to be careful about how we deal with it,” Pelosi said, according to Fox News. “But we do want to say to be people, ‘Come to Chinatown, we are careful safe, and come join us.’”

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