Published March 23, 2020
Trump’s efforts to prepare the nation for this pandemic has been far from perfect, but the one thing the president did do to stop the virus’s spread to the United States during that period — restricting air travel from China — was heavily criticized. Even former vice president Joe Biden criticized the president’s ban as “hysterical xenophobia.” At the time, partisan vituperation had reached a fever pitch because of impeachment. Given that impeachment managers were regularly calling Trump a king or incipient dictator, a more forceful response against the virus in January or early February likely wouldn’t have gone over well.
Henry Olsen is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.