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President Trump said at a media briefing on Thursday that he could stop calling the coronavirus “Chinese virus” if it disturbs the Chinese community.
Although he said he would consider deleting the term, he did not think there was anything wrong with it.
Trump began calling COVID-19 “Chinese virus” shortly after rumors began to circulate among Chinese authorities that the coronavirus originated in the US military, and he rejected media objections according to which the term could be “racist”. However, he said that if China continues to protest the name, it could stop using it.
“If you look at Ebola, right, if you look at Lyme in Connecticut, you look at all these different horrible diseases, they seem to come with a name with a location,” he said. “I don’t have to say if they’re so convinced, we’ll see.”
President Trump told reporters that he planned a call with Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Thursday evening, which he said would be a “fruitful call.”
Trump banned travel from China in late January to slow the spread of the virus. But on Thursday, the United States surpassed China in the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus – 82404.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Twitter on Wednesday that the world “explicitly objects to the link of # COVID19 with a specific country or region. Now is not the time to blame each other with terms like “Chinese virus” “.
Zhao said it was the United States that started the discussion on the origins of the virus. “Shouting” Chinese virus “or” Wuhan virus “will not contribute to their own efforts or to international efforts against # COVID19. The United States should keep its own house in order and contribute to the global fight against the virus. ” Zhao added.
But on March 12, Zhao touted the US military plot.
“It could have been the US military that brought the epidemic to Wuhan. Be transparent! Make your data public! The United States owes us an explanation!” he tweeted.