President Donald Trump attends a bilateral meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping during the G20 leaders summit in Osaka, Japan, June 29, 2019.
President Donald Trump on Monday continued to blame the coronavirus pandemic on China while also urging people to “stop politicizing” the virus.
“We must stop politicizing the virus and instead be united in our condemnation of how this virus came to America, how this virus came to the world,” Trump said.
Trump has sought to deflect from his own failures in responding to the pandemic by blaming Beijing.
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President Donald Trump on Monday urged people to “stop politicizing” COVID-19 moments before once again blaming the pandemic on China, amid a press conference in which he repeatedly said “China virus.”
“We must stop politicizing the virus and instead be united in our condemnation of how this virus came to America, how this virus came to the world, and we are going to figure it out, and we are going to find out, and we are very angry about it,” Trump said during Monday’s press briefing.
Monday’s press briefing was interrupted early on due to a shooting near the White House.
The president was ushered out of the room due to the shooting, but ultimately returned to continue discussing the virus and related matters, continuing to blame Beijing for the pandemic in the process.
“We are upset with China because of what they did,” Trump said, before taking a conspiratorial tone and suggesting, without evidence, that China “released” the virus into the US.
The novel coronavirus was first detected in Wuhan, China. In the early days of the virus, Trump praised China’s handling of the initial outbreak.
“China has been working very hard to contain the Coronavirus. The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency. It will all work out well. In particular, on behalf of the American People, I want to thank President Xi!” Trump tweeted in late January.
But as cases began to spread at scale in the US, Trump shifted to blaming the pandemic on China and began calling COVID-19 the “China virus.” Meanwhile, the US has the worst coronavirus outbreak in the world, with the highest numbers in terms of confirmed fatalities and reported cases. As of Monday, there were over 5 million reported COVID-19 cases and more than 163,000 confirmed deaths from the virus in the US, per the latest data from Johns Hopkins.
Though China has faced broad criticism over its lack of transparency on the virus, public health experts widely agree that Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has been disastrous. The president has continuously downplayed the threat of the virus, repeatedly contradicted his own infectious disease and public health experts, and routinely exhibited disdain for coronavirus restrictions.
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