A photo of President Donald Trump’s notes on Thursday showed the word “corona” was crossed out and replaced with “Chinese.”
It appears the president wanted a reminder to call the deadly coronavirus “the Chinese virus,” referring to its place of origin in the Chinese city of Wuhan. A day before, Trump bluntly defended his word choice against backlash from journalists, Democrats, and yes, China, who have called him a “racist” for using the terminology.
“It’s not racist at all,” Trump said at a White House press conference. “No, not at all.”
Washington Post photographer Jabin Botsford shared the image on Twitter Thursday. The picture shows the word “corona” conspicuously crossed out with “Chinese” written above it.
“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 said.
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
In recent days, many journalists and Democrats have been preoccupied with criticizing Trump for his habit of correctly noting the virus’s origin, even as Americans face much more alarming problems, like the traumatic shocks of deaths, hospitalizations, and layoffs. At a press conference on Wednesday, Trump flatly defended the term. “It comes from China, that’s why,” he said. “I want to be accurate.”
Moreover, many have pointed out that diseases like the 1918 Spanish flu and the Ebola outbreak are most commonly known by their association with a particular place. But it’s not just a matter of geography. The Trump administration has said that it’s necessary to be clear about China’s malign activities surrounding COVID-19, including a propaganda campaign to blame America for the pandemic.
The communist regime has falsely accused the United States Army of manufacturing coronavirus as a bioweapon. Trump and members of his administration have in turn blamed China for leaving the world exposed by failing to share information about the outbreak sooner.
“And certainly, the world is paying a big price for what they did and the world is paying a very big price for not — for not letting them come out. Everybody knows that. We all know that,” Trump said Thursday.
Woke-ness over safety
Trump has continued to use “Chinese virus” in his tweets and, in recent days, has pointedly started his press conferences with the term. Some Republican lawmakers have also used the phrasing. The heads of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), have discouraged it.
So has the World Health Organization (WHO) — which itself has come under fire for its connections to China. “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,” said Mike Ryan, the executive director of WHO’s Emergencies Program.
No blame in this? Sounds like Chinese propaganda.