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Donald Trump criticised after referring to COVID-19 as ‘Chinese virus’ in tweet

The tweet came days after the World Health Organization and officials, including the head of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, advised against the usage of terms that link the virus to China.

By: Trends Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: March 18, 2020 12:22:02 pm
The comments prompted a massive backlash on social media and many condemned the idea of identifying the virus with a specific location or ethnicity.

US President Donald Trump was criticised on social media after he referred to the COVID-19 pandemic as “the Chinese virus” in a tweet on Monday.

According to The Guardian, the president had just finished a briefing on a possible recession in the country due to the virus outbreak when he tweeted “The United States will be powerfully supporting those industries, like Airlines and others, that are particularly affected by the Chinese Virus. We will be stronger than ever before!”

The tweet came days after the World Health Organization and officials, including the head of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, advised against the usage of terms that link the virus to China or its province Wuhan, in an attempt to avoid stigmatisation or discrimination.

The comments prompted backlash on social media and many condemned the idea of identifying the virus with a specific location or ethnicity. Take a look at some of the comments here:

Other Republican figures, such as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and House Minority Speaker Kevin McCarthy, have made similar statements and referred to the disease as the “Wuhan virus” or the “Chinese coronavirus.”

However, on Monday, Pompeo issued “strong US objections” in a phone call with top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi against spreading “outlandish rumours” about the coronavirus pandemic. The United States had summoned the Chinese ambassador to protest against comments by Beijing suggesting the US military might have brought the coronavirus to Wuhan.

Trump, who has been facing criticism over his handling of the crisis, was in the limelight on Sunday after he told Americans to ‘take it easy’ and not hoard supplies.

COVID-19 has so far claimed more than 7,000 lives and has infected more than 150,000 people globally.

In India, the virus claimed a third life in India Tuesday as a 64-year-old man, who was tested positive in Maharashtra, passed away at Kasturba Hospital. The total number of people who tested positive for the virus in India rose to 125. (Click here for LIVE UPDATES).

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