Chinese media have said that us President Donald Trump’s infection with the COVID-19 coronavirus is a consequence of the president’s repeated abandonment of the pandemic.
On Friday, the state-run newspaper criticized Donald Trump for covering his announcement that he and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive for COVID-19, which has killed more than 1 million people worldwide and more than 207,000 in the US.
Hu Xijin, editor of the English-language Chinese newspaper Global Times gave a scathing open response. Hu has increased his significant English-language social media presence in recent months, largely through criticism of Trump and the president’s administration during the pandemic.
“President Trump and the first lady have paid the price for his gamble to shrink COVID-19,” Hu wrote on Twitter. “The news shows the severe u.S. pandemic situation. It will have a negative impact on Trump’s image and the US, and could also have a negative impact on his re-election,” he was quoted as saying by Newsweek on Sunday .
Donald Trump is trying to blame the pandemic on China, where the virus originated late last year. China has been accused of underestimating the severity of the outbreak and failing to adequately warn the international community, the US accuses.
Chinese officials and state media have characterized the strategy as a racist attempt to avoid blame for the rampant spread of the virus in the U.S., where Trump has been accused of underestimating its severity, spreading medical myths and rejecting public health guidelines.
China has worked hard to define the COVID-19 narrative and avoid responsibility for pandemics. U.S. lawmakers accuse Beijing of making extensive disinformation efforts, combined with so-called “mask diplomacy” –i.e. medical assistance for affected countries, some of which were rejected for being inadequate.
Other media outlets were more subtle in their criticism of the president after news of his infection. China Daily –which is owned by the Propaganda Department of the Communist Party of China — said the announcement was “yet another reminder that the coronavirus continues to spread, even as Trump has tried desperately to show that it no longer poses a danger.”
“Since it emerged earlier this year, Trump, the White House, and his campaign have downplayed the threat and refused to abide by basic public health guidelines – including those issued by his own administration – such as wearing masks in public places and practicing social distance,” the newspaper said, noting Trump’s insistence on campaigning with thousands of his supporters.