For months, Trump's campaign has been dishonestly claiming Biden called the partial China travel ban 'xenophobic.'
Donald Trump admitted on Thursday that one of his campaign's frequent attacks against Joe Biden is false.
In a Fox News interview, Sean Hannity asked him about Biden's purported criticism of Trump's January partial ban on travel from China.
"Joe said it was 'hysteria,' 'xenophobic,' and 'fear-mongering,'" Hannity falsely claimed.
Trump corrected his friend. "He didn't say it."
"He never said 'xenophobic' cause I don't think he knows what the word means," Trump said.
But Trump and his reelection campaign have been making the same false claim as Hannity for months.
On June 12, Trump posted a Facebook ad making the claim that Biden had called Trump's China travel restrictions "hysterical xenophobia."
On May 28, another Trump ad claimed Biden "attacked Donald Trump's travel bans, calling them 'racist' and 'hysterical xenophobia.'"
Back in March, PolitiFact examined Trump's repeated claims that Trump had attacked him over his restrictions. They determined the claim "mostly false," noting that Biden "did not explicitly tie xenophobia to the travel restriction."
Biden's actual comment, the fact check noted, was: "This is no time for Donald Trump's record of hysteria xenophobia, hysterical xenophobia, and fear-mongering to lead the way instead of science."
Trump has repeatedly suggested that his partial China travel ban kept America safe from the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Tuesday, he boasted at Phoenix rally, "we took swift and early action to ban travel from China very, very early," adding that he had "saved tens of thousands of lives with that early decision."
"Trump didn't 'ban' all the people infected with coronavirus from entering the U.S. from China," the Associated Press noted in May. His order, they noted, merely was a temporary hold on "entry by foreign nationals who had traveled in China within the previous 14 days, with exceptions for the immediate family of U.S. citizens and permanent residents as well as American citizens."
And FactCheck.org reported in April that it found "no support" for Trump's claims that he'd saved tens of thousands of lives with the move.
"The few studies that have been done estimate the U.S.' and other countries' travel restrictions regarding China had modest impacts, slowing the initial spread outside of China but not containing the coronavirus pandemic," the outlet said.
As of Thursday, more than 2.3 million coronavirus cases have been reported. More than 121,000 Americans have died from it.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.