President Trump’s speech notes show line drawn through ‘corona’ and replaced with ‘Chinese’ as he uses the inflammatory name for virus that is infuriating Beijing
- President Trump on Thursday again referred to coronavirus as the ‘China virus’
- A photo of his notes showed line drawn through ‘corona’ and replaced with ‘Chinese’ during his press briefing about COVID-19 at the White House
- The president has constantly defended use term despite critics calling it ‘racist’
- ‘It’s not racist at all. It comes from China, that’s why,’ the president explained
- China has expelled journalists from three major American news outlets because of Trump’s use of the term
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
A photo of Donald Trump’s notes from his Thursday press briefing shows his script had been amended so the term ‘corona virus’ read ‘Chinese virus’ – as the president doubled down on his use of the term which critics have branded racist.
During the speech, Trump repeated his argument that China is to blame for the original spread of the virus, which has claimed thousands of lives around the world.
But he has faced criticism for calling it a ‘Chinese virus’, as the deadly disease is now a global pandemic.
The photo was revealed by Jabin Botsford, a Washington Post photographer, who tweeted the image Thursday afternoon.
‘Close up of President @realdonaldtrump notes is seen where he crossed out “Corona” and replaced it with “Chinese” Virus as he speaks with his coronavirus task force today at the White House,’ Botsford wrote.
‘We continue our relentless effort to defeat the Chinese virus,’ Trump announced after he entered the White House briefing room.
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A photo (above) of President Donald Trump’s notes during his Thursday press briefing showed a line drawn through ‘corona’ and replaced with ‘Chinese’
The photo (pictured) was revealed by Jabin Botsford, a Washington Post photographer, who tweeted the image Thursday afternoon
China has been criticized for not sharing enough information about the disease early on in the crisis.
‘Certainly the world is paying a big price for what they did, and the world is playing a very big price for not letting them come out. Everybody knows that, we all know that,’ the president said.
On Thursday, China, for the first time, reported no new coronavirus cases from the day before, which was seen as a positive sign in their battle against the disease.
There have been concerns, however, that the information may not be accurate.
In response, Trump said: ‘As far as believing what they are putting out now, I hope it’s true. Who knows? But I hope it’s true, I really do.’
Over the past few days, Trump has defended his use of the term ‘China virus,’ saying Wednesday ‘it’s not racist at all’.
In wake of Trump’s usage of the term, China expelled journalists from three major American news outlets.
Trump told reporters at the White House that he used the description because the virus originated in the Wuhan province of China.
‘It’s not racist at all. It comes from China, that’s why. It comes from China. I want to be accurate,’ he said during a press briefing.
Weijia Jiang, a correspondent for CBS News,has claimed that a White House official referred to coronavirus as the ‘Kung Flu’ right to her face on Tuesday morning
And he argued he wasn’t being racist to any Asian Americans with the term.
‘I have a great love for all the people from our country, but as you know, China tried to say at one point that – maybe they’ve stopped now – that it was caused by American soldiers. That can’t happen. It’s not going to happen. Not as long as I’m president. It comes from China,’ he said.
Trump was referring to the Chinese officials who have pushed a conspiracy theory that the American military brought the coronavirus to their shores.
Medical experts believe the disease originated in a meat market in Wuhan where exotic animals were butchered.
And while Trump argued the coronavirus came from China, he said he doesn’t believe Beijing inflicted it on America but added Chinese officials could have issued an earlier warning.
‘No, I don’t believe they are inflicting I think they could have given us a lot earlier notice,’ he said.
He also did not condemn a White House official who called the disease the ‘Kung flu’ and said he wasn’t worried about Asian Americans being put at risk in the wake of such rhetoric.
Weijia Jiang, a reporter for CBS News, claimed on Tuesday that a White House official referred to coronavirus as the ‘Kung Flu’ right to her face. Jiang was born in China and raised in West Virginia.
Trump has also used the term in a series of tweets this week.
‘I will be having a news conference today to discuss very important news from the FDA concerning the Chinese Virus!’ the president wrote.
Trump (pictured on Thursday) has also used the term in a series of tweets this week
‘I always treated the Chinese Virus very seriously, and have done a very good job from the beginning, including my very early decision to close the “borders” from China – against the wishes of almost all. Many lives were saved. The Fake News new narrative is disgraceful & false!’ he added.
The president appeared to be pushing back at reports his response to the pandemic has taken on a more serious tone in recent days.
Trump has been criticized for minimizing the disease in its early days but told reporters on Tuesday he’s ‘always’ taken it seriously.
‘I’ve always known this is a real – this is a pandemic. I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic,’ he said during a press briefing on the virus.
Since Trump began using the term, China has taken retaliatory measures against the United States. Officials there announced on Tuesday Beijing would expel American journalists working for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.
‘I’m not happy to see it. I have my own disputes with all three of those media groups. I think you know that very well. I don’t like seeing it at all, I’m not happy about that at all,’ Trump said Wednesday of the expelled journalists.
The United State also has expelled Chinese journalists. Last month, the Trump administration posed limits on the number of Chinese citizens who can work in the US for five state-run Chinese news outlets that are seen as propaganda machines.
The limits by the White House – capping the number of Chinese journalists at 100 – will force about 60 Chinese reporters from the United States.
Medical workers in protective suits attend to novel coronavirus patients at the intensive care unit (ICU) of a designated hospital in Wuhan, China
Chinese officials are floating the conspiracy that those in the US Army brought coronavirus to China during the Military World Games in Wuhan in October 2019
After Trump tweeted on Monday about the ‘China virus,’ Beijing, the next day, demanded ‘the US side correct the mistake immediately and halt its groundless accusations’.
The president said he only started referring to the virus, which was first detected in Wuhan, China, in that way after Beijing blamed the US military for bringing the disease to its shores.
‘Well China was putting out information, which was false, that our military gave this to them. That was false,’ Trump said during a briefing in the White House press room.
‘And rather than having an argument, I said I have to call it where it came from. It did come from China.’
‘So I think it’s a very accurate term,’ he continued. ‘But, no, I didn’t appreciate the fact that China was saying that our military gave it to them. Our military did not give it to anybody.’
There are more than 14,000 cases of the coronavirus in the US with 211 deaths
When a reporter said the term ‘Chinese Virus’ has a stigma around it that is seen as racist, Trump pushed back.
‘No, I don’t think so. No,’ he said, flipping the switch: ‘I think saying that our military gave it to them creates a stigma.’
Scientists suspect that the virus first came to humans at a meat market in Wuhan that butchered exotic animals.
While COVID-19 — the disease caused by the virus – has largely come under control in China, it has killed thousands of people around the world and severely disrupted daily life in Western countries.
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