WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump believes that China is responsible for the spread of deadly coronavirus that has killed more than 4.56 lakh people globally and over 1.22 lakh in the US, his spokesperson has said.
“The president never regrets putting the onus back on China — pointing out that China is responsible for this and, in the process, standing up for US troops who are being blamed by China in a campaign of misinformation,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters at a news conference on Monday.
She was responding to a series of questions on the use of term “Kung flu” by Trump during his Tulsa rally last week, which many believe as a racist comment.
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Asked why Trump used the phrase, she said: “The president doesn’t (use racist phrases). What the president does do is point to the fact that the origin of the virus is China.”
“It’s a fair thing to point out as China tries to ridiculously rewrite history, ridiculously blame the coronavirus on American soldiers. This is what China is trying to do. And President Trump is saying, ‘No, China, I will label this virus for its place of origin’,” she said.
Using such a phrase, she asserted is not about Asian-Americans but Trump “linking the virus to its place of origin.”
“It’s important that we totally protect our Asian (American) community in the US and all around the world. They’re amazing people, and the spreading of the virus is not their fault in any way, shape, or form. They’re working closely with us to get rid of it. We will prevail together. It’s very important,” she said, quoting Trump.
“So, it’s not a discussion about Asian-Americans, who the president values and prizes as citizens of this great country; it is an indictment of China for letting this virus get here,” she said.
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McEnany also pointed out that the media blames Trump for using the terms “China virus” and “Wuhan virus,” when they themselves have used these very terms.
“The New York Times called it the ‘Chinese coronavirus’, Reuters, the ‘Chinese virus’, CNN, the ‘Chinese coronavirus’ on January 20, Washington Post on January 21 called it ‘Chinese coronavirus’ and I have more than a dozen other examples,” she said.
McEnany alleged that the media is trying to play games with the terminology of this virus, where the focus should be on the fact that China let this out of their country. “The same phrase that the media roundly now condemns has been used by the media. I can give more examples… and we can go on and on and on. So, while the media wants to focus on nomenclature, the president is going to focus on action,” she said.