President Donald Trump offered reassurance to American industries on Monday that have been devastated by the coronavirus and took a shot at China in the process.
“The United States will be powerfully supporting those industries, like Airlines and others, that are particularly affected by the Chinese Virus,” Trump tweeted. “We will be stronger than ever before!”
The United States will be powerfully supporting those industries, like Airlines and others, that are particularly affected by the Chinese Virus. We will be stronger than ever before!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 16, 2020
Trump is correct in noting that the virus did in fact come from China, a fact that the Chinese have seemingly sought to hide as they are concerned about how this impacts their global image.
China knew about the virus in November; reportedly hid the extent of the outbreak from the rest of the world; allegedly silenced critics, doctors, and journalists who sounded the alarm; failed to contain the virus within its own borders; and has falsely suggested that the U.S. military may be behind the virus.
“The Chinese government silenced whistle-blowers, withheld crucial information and played down the threat posed by the new coronavirus, allowing an epidemic that has killed thousands to take hold across the country,” The New York Times reported. “The coronavirus outbreak has undermined those global ambitions, and the propaganda [around the world] and wreaks havoc on global markets, experts say the campaign could revive concerns about China’s secretive approach to managing the crisis.”
Former CIA officer Bryan Dean Wright, who is a Democrat and frequently appears on Fox News, responded to Trump’s tweet by writing, “Trump called it the ‘Chinese Virus.’ This was not a slip. His intel staff has made clear that China is spreading propaganda that the US is to blame. Trump just dropped the hammer that we will not sit back & let the lies go unanswered. There is only one culprit here: China.”
Trump called it the “Chinese Virus.”
This was not a slip.
His intel staff has made clear that China is spreading propaganda that the US is to blame.
Trump just dropped the hammer that we will not sit back & let the lies go unanswered.
There is only one culprit here:
— Bryan Dean Wright (@BryanDeanWright) March 17, 2020
Elizabeth C. Economy, a senior fellow and director of Asia studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, told The Times, “The danger for Xi Jinping is that as the virus spreads globally, the role that China’s system of governance played in delaying a timely response will face growing scrutiny and criticism from the international community,” adding that the propaganda was “a last-ditch effort by Xi to deflect blame and avoid a demand by the international community for an honest accounting of what actually transpired.”
The Wall Street Journal that when doctors finally figured out what was going on in early December that they “were prevented by Chinese authorities from alerting their peers, let alone the public.”
The Journal added, “Even after Chinese President Xi Jinping personally ordered officials to control the outbreak on Jan. 7, authorities kept denying it could spread between humans—something doctors had known was happening since late December—and went ahead with a Chinese Lunar New Year banquet involving tens of thousands of families in Wuhan.”
Chinese state propaganda has attempted to shut down any attempts to link the name of the virus to China by claiming that attempts to do so are racist and xenophobic, despite the fact that numerous diseases have been named after their place of origin.
This is a breaking news story, refresh the page for updates.