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Chinese state media mocks Trump's positive virus test: 'Paid the price for his gamble to play down' pandemic

The editor of a Chinese state-run media outlet on Friday mocked President TrumpDonald TrumpRomney: 'Pretty sure' Trump would win 2024 GOP nomination if he ran for president Pence huddles with senior members of Republican Study Committee Trump says 'no doubt' Tiger Woods will be back after accident MORE and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpJill Biden picks up where she left off The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden navigates pressures from Dems Former first lady launches 'Office of Melania Trump' MORE following their positive coronavirus tests, writing that they “paid the price for [Trump's] gamble to play down the COVID-19.” 

Global Times editor-in-chief Hu Xijin tweeted that news of the first couple contracting the virus shows the “severity” of the pandemic in the United States.

"It will impose a negative impact on the image of Trump and the US, and may also negatively affect his reelection,” the editor concluded.

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The Global Times is a propaganda outlet published by China’s ruling Communist Party.

The Trumps announced the diagnosis in the early hours of Friday morning, joining the more than 7.2 million people in the United States who have tested positive for the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic. More than 207,000 have died while over 2.8 million have recovered, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

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Presidential physician Sean Conley said in a memo released by the White House that the president and the first lady "are both well at this time, and they plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence."

“The White House medical team and I will maintain a vigilant watch, and I appreciate the support provided by some of our country’s greatest medical professionals and institutions. Rest assured I expect the President to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering, and I will keep you updated on any future developments," Conley added.

The announcement came hours after news broke that White House adviser and top aide to the president Hope HicksHope HicksUPDATED: McEnany, Fox News talks on pause Trump selects Hicks, Bondi, Grenell and other allies for positions Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis tests positive for coronavirus MORE tested positive for the disease. Both Hicks and the president had been together on Air Force One in Cleveland for the presidential debate as well as a campaign rally in Minnesota on Wednesday.

The president has for months blamed China over its role in the spread of COVID-19, the first cases of which were reported in Wuhan, China, in late 2019. He has questioned if the country intentionally allowed it to spread and blamed Beijing and the World Health Organization (WHO) for early missteps and a lack of communication.

“As we pursue this bright future, we must hold accountable the nation which unleashed this plague onto the world: China,” Trump said last month during recorded remarks to the United Nations General Assembly.

Trump has touted his administration’s response to the virus. However, recordings released by journalist Bob Woodward last month showed Trump privately acknowledging that he was downplaying the virus’s threat to the nation.

“I wanted to, I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic,” Trump told Woodward in a recording released by the veteran Washington Post journalist.