China expressed its strong opposition Tuesday to U.S. President Donald Trump using the term «Chinese virus» to refer to the novel coronavirus that has spread to more than 150 countries around the world.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Trump’s language stigmatizes China.
Trump tweeted Monday: «The United States will be powerfully supporting those industries, like Airlines and others, that are particularly affected by the Chinese Virus.»
Last week, Trump shared someone else’s tweet labeling the coronavirus as «China Virus.»
When asked at a congressional hearing if it was «absolutely wrong and inappropriate» for the president to use such language, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Robert Redfield said, “Yes.»
«China was the first phase. Korea and Iran were the second phase, with Italy, now all of Europe,» Redfield said.
The World Health Organization refers to the novel coronavirus as the COVID-19 virus.
In announcing the name, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said having such a designation «matters to prevent the use of other names that can be inaccurate or stigmatizing.»