President Donald Trump's use of the racist term "Chinese virus" when describing the global coronavirus outbreak is apparently counter to how his aides are presenting information to him to read to the public according to a photo taken Thursday by Washington Post photographer Jabin Botsford.
"When someone you know dies of this thing, you can find solace in the fact that when the president was supposed to be leading the nation through this pandemic, he was busy making hand edits to speeches so that the Chinese would be adequately scapegoated," tweeted political journalist Brian Tyler Cohen.
Close up of President @realDonaldTrump notes is seen where he crossed out "Corona" and replaced it with "Chinese" Virus as he speaks with his coronavirus task force today at the White House. #trump #trumpnotes pic.twitter.com/kVw9yrPPeJ— Jabin Botsford (@jabinbotsford) March 19, 2020
As Common Dreams reported Wednesday, Trump's insistence on using the term "Chinese virus" is part of an American history of using racist tropes about disease.
The president's own handwriting scrawling the term across his notes at a press conference drew outrage on social media as observers like Daily Beast reporter Sam Stein noted the "obvious attempts to start a debate over political correctness" rather than Trump's mishandling of the pandemic, which threatens the lives of thousands if not millions of Americans.
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"Aggressively, purposefully, maniacally, loathsomely racist," tweeted astronomer Phil Plait.
Press Watch editor Dan Froomkin said Trump's latest embrace of racist hate is another indication the president should be ignored as much as possible.
"This is the extent of Trump's contribution to the debate," said Froomkin. "He needs to be routed around, not heeded."
At his Thursday press briefing on the coronavirus, Trump in response to a question on holding China accountable for the outbreak suggested there would be "repercussions" for Beijing.
"We're working on that right now," said Trump.