NY Times Turnabout: Covid 'Receding,’ Everyone Vaxxed, So Throw the Borders Open!

April 17th, 2022 2:40 PM

In Saturday’s New York Times story, “Democrats Face Tough Questions as a Border Saga Enters a New Chapter,” Leah Askarinam interviewed Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Michael Shear, Times reporters who have been covering the immigration-troubled Biden Administration’s ditching of Title 42, a Trump policy that slowed the admission of migrants on the southern border on public health grounds, specifically COVID concerns.

The Biden administration continued the program, causing liberal immigration activists heartburn, but is now ending it, because apparently COVID is no longer a problem. Shockingly, the Times agrees, at least if it means allowing more migrants into the United States.

Shear, whose paper has been encouraging COVID doomsaying for over two years, had to abruptly downplay the virus in order to make the Trump plan seem unreasonable, “an excuse” to keep migrants out.

Earlier this month, the paper actually suggested loosening the restrictions for entry, even making Republican-sounding arguments to bolster its case:

Covid case numbers have fallen sharply in most of the United States, and the C.D.C. has loosened many restrictions. An Omicron subvariant known as BA.2 could cause another surge here in the coming months, but it has not been shown to cause more severe illness, and vaccines continue to protect against the worst outcomes.

On Saturday, reporter Shear spouted his distrust for the Trump administration's motives:

And there were a lot of immigration advocates who believed that, while there was clearly a pandemic, the real intentions behind the Trump administration putting it into place were really darker motives, intended to keep the migrants that Trump had criticized so harshly out of the country, and to use the public health rule as an excuse.

Shear picked up the story later, during the Biden administration, where Trump’s dark plan to limit migrant entry was suddenly more palatable. Again, Shear went against the grain of the Times’ two-year COVID scare-quest, sounding like a “let her rip” Republican, downplaying the virus danger in order to make loosening restrictions on incoming migrants seem sensible.

Fast-forward into the middle period, with Biden in office and the pandemic still raging, and there was more of a debate. A lot of people, including administration officials, took a second look at the Title 42 issue and said, “You know what, this isn’t crazy.” When you have the Delta variant and Omicron variant, it’s not crazy to think that you would have some restrictions keeping people out….

And now we’ve come full circle, to where the pandemic is maybe receding a bit and lots of people are vaccinated. People are asking again: How do you let people in from other places in the world but you keep the Title 42 rationale and say we’re not going to let in people who are crossing the border on foot?

Perhaps because the United States requires people coming into the country to be vaccinated?

At least the reporters recognized hypocrisy when they saw it, with Kanno-Youngs stating: 

….it is surprising given how blunt this policy was, especially after months of Democrats criticizing the Trump administration for embracing policies that subjected migrants to violence, assault and kidnappings south of the border.

Shear accurately concluded:

Until the country really grapples with all of this, it’s going to continue to be a mess at the border.