In a recent press conference, within the context of talking about the Trump administration's response to COVID-19, Trump said:

And when you ask me that question—let me ask you this. Why did Biden apologize? Why did he write a letter of apology?

Did Joe Biden write a letter of apology? What is this referring to?

  • 1
    Is this a question about a widely-believed claim by Trump, or a question about how to parse what Trump referred to in passing? Note: He never explicitly said it was over Trump's COVID-19 handling.
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Apr 14, 2020 at 5:42
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    @Oddthinking - in the context of the press conference it seems pretty clear it's something to do with COVID19. Re: "widely-believed claim" - I mean - it's a claim by The President of the United States surely that's on topic.
    – dwjohnston
    Commented Apr 14, 2020 at 5:56
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    @dwjohnston Unfortunately we are forced into a position where anything the President of the United States says is a notable claim, no matter how ludicrous. Commented Apr 14, 2020 at 18:17
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    'What did Trump mean when he said X?' is a very different question to 'Trump said X. is it true?'. The first answer posted is likely true, but at its heart is speculation about an individual's motivation which is off topic here.
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Apr 15, 2020 at 3:49

1 Answer 1


The context of that quote seem to be travel restrictions. In the same briefing, Trump claimed shortly before:

He called me xenophobic. He called me a racist, because he has since apologized and he said I did the right thing

CNN summarizes the claim:

Trump claimed that presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has apologized for having accused him of xenophobia on January 31, when Trump's administration announced its coronavirus travel restrictions on China.

CNNs factcheck concludes:

Biden has not apologized for having called Trump xenophobic. [...]

Biden's campaign announced in early April that he supports Trump's travel restrictions on China, so part of Trump's Monday claim is correct. But the Biden campaign did not say the former vice president had previously been wrong about the ban, much less apologize. Rather, the campaign says Biden's January 31 accusations -- that Trump has a record of "hysterical xenophobia" and "fear mongering" -- were not about the travel restrictions at all.

The announcment was:

"Joe Biden supports travel bans that are guided by medical experts, advocated by public health officials, and backed by a full strategy," Kate Bedingfeld, Biden's deputy campaign manager, told CNN. "Science supported this ban, therefore he did too."

I was unable to find any evidence for any sort of letter in this regard.

Instead, it seems to be about the statement by a Biden campaign manager, which supports one of Trumps policies but did not apologize for calling Trump xenophobic.


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