President Trump’s notes from Thursday’s coronavirus briefing show someone crossed out the word “Corona” in coronavirus and replaced it with the word “Chinese.”
This picture captured by Washington Post Photographer Jabin Botsford, comes as Trump has stepped up his efforts to scapegoat China for the spread of the coronavirus.
The change in tone from the White House comes as the number of cases in the US rises on a daily basis, and despite Trump initially praising China’s President Xi Jinping for his handling of the crisis.
After consulting with medical experts and receiving guidance from the World Health Organization, CNN has determined that the term “Chinese virus” is both inaccurate and considered stigmatizing.
Some background: CNN previously reported that a prominent Chinese official has promoted a conspiracy theory that the US military could have brought the novel coronavirus to China — and it did not originate in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
Parts of Chinese social media, and even the country’s government, appear to have launched a concerted campaign to question the origin of the novel coronavirus, which has infected more than 170,000 people globally as of Tuesday midday, according to CNN’s case tracker.
The first reported cases of the virus were in Wuhan, and scenes from the city on lockdown shocked the world. The lockdown gave an early indication for how seriously global authorities would need to combat the fast-spreading virus.
“Viruses know no borders and they don’t care about your ethnicity or the color of your skin or how much money you have in the bank,” said Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organization health emergencies program. “It’s really important that we be careful in the language we use.”