Trump: I don't think using the phrase 'Chinese virus' creates a stigma

President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrat calls on White House to withdraw ambassador to Belarus nominee TikTok collected data from mobile devices to track Android users: report Peterson wins Minnesota House primary in crucial swing district MORE said Tuesday that he doesn’t think using the phrase “Chinese virus” creates a stigma.

A reporter asked Trump during a Tuesday press briefing addressing the coronavirus outbreak about the criticism he has received about using the phrase “Chinese virus” to describe the coronavirus.

The president pushed back on the question, saying that “China was putting out information, which was false, that our military gave this to them.”

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“That was false,” he said. “And rather than having an argument, I said I have to call it where it came from. It did come from China so I think it's a very accurate term.” 

A reporter asked a follow-up question about whether using the phrase “Chinese virus” creates a stigma. 

“No, I don’t think so,” Trump responded. “I think saying that our military gave it to them creates a stigma.”

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Trump was referring to a Chinese government spokesman promoting a conspiracy theory last week that the U.S. Army brought the coronavirus to the country.

Several other Republican leaders, including Rep. Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarArizona Rep. Paul Gosar wins GOP primary  Trade negotiations mustn't short-circuit domestic debate House Republicans urge White House to support TSA giving travelers temperature checks MORE (R-Ariz.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyGOP leaders go into attack mode against Harris Republicans introduce bill to defend universities conducting coronavirus research against hackers Bipartisan senators ask congressional leadership to extend census deadline MORE (R-Calif.), have referred to the coronavirus as the “Wuhan virus” or the “Chinese coronavirus.”

Trump has also referred to the coronavirus as the “Chinese Virus” in past tweets.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has requested people stop calling the coronavirus the “Wuhan virus,” with WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus saying the use of the term is “painful to see” and “more dangerous than the virus itself.” 

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield chimed in last week, calling it "wrong" to label the virus as the "Chinese coronavirus."

Asian American leaders and representatives, including Rep. Grace MengGrace MengBowman holds double-digit lead over Engel in NY primary Grace Meng wins NY Democratic primary The Hill's Campaign Report: Primary night in Kentucky and New York MORE (D-N.Y.), have called out Republican lawmakers for using the phrases in question, with Meng calling it “embarrassing, disrespectful, offensive, and downright disgusting.”

The leaders of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Native American Caucus and the Congressional Progressive Caucus have requested McCarthy and Gosar apologize.