Updated: March 18, 2020 12:22:02 pm
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 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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 16, 2020
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.
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) March 2, 2020
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:
The Chinese virus?
— Oren Shevlin🇪🇺🇬🇧🇩🇪 (@OrenShevlin) March 17, 2020
Donald Trump is showing his true, racist colours by calling it the “Chinese Virus”
It’s not the “Chinese Virus”. It’s a global pandemic
— Edward Hardy (@EdwardTHardy) March 16, 2020
You’re an American virus.
— Mykie (@GlamandGore) March 16, 2020
I’m embarrassed for you
— Simu Liu (@SimuLiu) March 17, 2020
— Mia Farrow (@MiaFarrow) March 16, 2020
Please be smart. If you get the coronavirus, do NOT go to work. Do the right thing. Go to a Fun Trump rally.
— Calvin Schneider (@realcalvinn) March 16, 2020
In a year, it’s going to be known as the Trump Virus.
— Pé (@4everNeverTrump) March 16, 2020
Just when you think Trump can’t go any lower, he always finds a way.
— Angela Belcamino (@AngelaBelcamino) March 16, 2020
Cool, back to the racism again. That will stop this virus!
— David Rothschild (@DavMicRot) March 16, 2020
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.”
As @khamenei_ir knows, the best biological defense would’ve been to tell the Iranian people the truth about the Wuhan virus when it spread to #Iran from China. Instead, he kept Mahan Air flights coming and going to the epicenter in China, and jailed those who spoke out. pic.twitter.com/nL1FUY4T4b
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) March 13, 2020
Everything you need to know about the Chinese coronavirus can be found on one, regularly-updated website: https://t.co/nGCCDVqcqe
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) March 9, 2020
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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