Photo of Trump’s notes shows ‘Chinese’ virus written over ‘coronavirus’
A photo of President Trump’s notes for his Thursday press briefing with the coronavirus task force show that “Corona” was crossed out and replaced with “Chinese.”
Jabin Botsford, a staff photographer at The Washington Post, tweeted out the photo of the president’s notes, showing the phrase “Corona Virus” was edited to say “Chinese virus.”
“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 posted.
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. #trump #trumpnotes pic.twitter.com/kVw9yrPPeJ
— Jabin Botsford (@jabinbotsford) March 19, 2020
The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment.
Trump has faced criticism for referring to the COVID-19 virus causing the pandemic as “the Chinese virus,” with some saying he is encouraging an anti-Asian stigma. He has repeatedly defended calling the virus the “Chinese virus,” saying, “It’s not racist at all.”
“It comes from China, that’s why,” he said during a press conference Wednesday. “I want to be accurate.”
The president appeared to hold China responsible for the administration’s delay in responding to the virus on Wednesday. “I believe they could have given us a lot earlier notice,” he said.
COVID-19 appeared in Wuhan, China, starting in December, and the president formed a task force to combat the virus in late January.
Trump has also used the phrase in his tweets.
Several other Republican leaders like Rep. Paul Gosar (Ariz.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) have called COVID-19 the “Wuhan virus” and “Chinese coronavirus,” sparking criticism.
Trump’s health advisers, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Robert Redfield, have called it inappropriate and inaccurate to label the virus as the “Chinese virus.”
A World Health Organization (WHO) official cautioned against using the phrase “Chinese virus” on Wednesday, saying it may inspire racial profiling against Asians.
“This is a time for solidarity, this is a time for facts, this is a time to move forward together, to fight this virus together. There is no blame in this,” Mike Ryan, the executive director of WHO’s Emergencies Program, said.
WHO had previously asked for people not to refer to the virus as the “Wuhan virus.”