Chinese state-run newspaper mocks Trump for contracting coronavirus

Hu Xijin claims US president has ‘paid the price for his gamble to play down’ Covid-19

James Crump
Friday 02 October 2020 17:46
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The editor of one of China’s biggest state-run newspapers has mocked Donald Trump, after both he and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for coronavirus.

Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief of the state-owned Chinese tabloid, Global Times, claimed on Twitter that the president and Ms Trump “have paid the price for his gamble to play down” Covid-19.

He added: “The news shows the severity of the US’ pandemic situation. It will impose a negative impact on the image of Trump and the US, and may also negatively affect his reelection.”

On Thursday evening Mr Trump announced that he and the first lady had tested positive for Covid-19, following the confirmation that his senior counselor Hope Hicks had contracted the virus.

On Wednesday, Ms Hicks travelled to Minnesota on the presidential plane Air Force One with Mr Trump and several of his aides, but none of them were pictured wearing face masks.

Following the announcement of Mr Trump’s diagnosis, Sean Conley, the White House physician, said that the president and first lady “are both well at this time,” and added that he is expected “to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering.”

After his diagnosis was announced, president Trump tweeted: “We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately,” and added: “We will get through this TOGETHER!”

The Global Times has repeatedly criticised Mr Trump throughout his presidency, and in recent months Mr Hu has run stories condemning the US response to the pandemic.

In articles earlier in the year, the Global Times called the US a “barbaric and greedy” country that “doesn't care about humanitarianism” and claimed that “the US government has failed its people and also failed the world".

Conversely, Mr Trump has repeatedly attempted to blame the country for the virus, which is believed to have originated in Wuhan, China, and has repeatedly referred to it as the “China virus” and “Wuhan flu”.

Concerns have been raised that the president using the phrases could lead to a rise of harassment and mistreatment of Asian Americans, according to NBC News.

In June, the US State Department labelled the Global Times, which has previously been criticised for running misinformation, and other Chinese media outlets as foreign missions “controlled by the government,” according to Business Insider.

The department also limited the amount of people who can work for the outlets in the US and justified the decision by claiming that in China there is “long-standing intimidation and harassment of journalists,” according to the New York Post.

In retaliation, China banned journalists from the The New York Times, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal from working in the country.

According to Johns Hopkins University some 7.2m people have now tested positive for coronavirus in the US and the death toll has reached 207,818, while China has recorded 90,567 cases and at least 4,739 fatalities.

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