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Trump Doubles Down on Racist “Chinese Virus” Label

HeadlineMar 19, 2020

President Trump opened a White House press briefing on the pandemic Wednesday with a statement that took on racist and xenophobic overtones.

President Donald Trump: “I would like to begin by announcing some important developments in our war against the Chinese virus.”

Later in the news conference, Trump was questioned by reporter Cecilia Vega.

Cecilia Vega: “Why do you keep calling this the 'Chinese virus'? There are reports of dozens of incidents of bias against Chinese Americans in this country. Your own aide, Secretary Azar, says he does not use this term. He says ethnicity does not cause the virus. Why do you keep using this?”

President Donald Trump: “Because it comes from China.

Cecilia Vega: “A lot of people say it’s racist.”

President Donald Trump: “It’s not racist at all. No, not at all. It comes from China. That’s why. Comes from China.” 

This came a day after CBS White House correspondent Weijia Jiang, who describes herself in her Twitter profile as a “Chinese born West Virginian,” tweeted, “This morning a White House official referred to #Coronavirus as the 'Kung-Flu' to my face. Makes me wonder what they’re calling it behind my back.” We’ll have more on racist remarks by President Trump and Republican lawmakers later in the broadcast. 

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