President Donald Trump defended his decision to call the coronavirus the “Chinese Virus” during a press briefingWednesday, noting that the virus originated in China and spread due to the actions of the Chinese government.
“It’s not racist at all, no, not at all. It comes from China,” Trump told a reporter. “I wanna be accurate.”
After the reporter persisted in questioning the president’s terminology, Trump said he respects all Americans, and chided the Chinese government for promoting propaganda about the virus’ origins. (RELATED: CNN’s Dana Bash Praises Trump On Air, But She Instantly Clarifies On Twitter)
“I have great love for all of the people from our country,” Trump said. “As you know, China tried to say at one point, maybe they stopped now, that it was caused by American soldiers. That can’t happen. It’s not gonna happen. Not as long as I’m president. It comes from China.”
The Chinese government has repeatedly promoted anti-American conspiracy theories about the virus’ origins and recently announced that they are expelling U.S. journalists from the country, including reporters who work for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.