President Donald Trump called COVID-19 the “China plague” during a press conference on Friday.
Addressing the recent May jobs report, Trump equated a strong economy to racial equality, saying it is the “greatest thing that can happen for race relations.”
Under the same breath, the president used the term “China plague” to describe the global pandemic, NBC reported.
“When we had our tremendous numbers,” he was quoted saying in regards to the number of jobs occupied. “Just prior to the China plague that floated in, we had numbers, the best in history, for African American, for Hispanic American, for Asian American, and for everybody.”
Criticism erupted on social media platforms soon after his use of the phrase that many consider harmful for Asian Americans, many of whom have already faced racial abuse since the coronavirus outbreak.
Trump has just called the coronavirus the “China Plague” once again whilst trying to talk about equality? He’s a fucking idiot
— Lewis (@lewwis0_0) June 5, 2020
Currently watching 45 speak for the first time in months… I cannot. He’s talked about his “enemies,” spreading conspiracy theories about China (“China Plague”), he listed the months of the year out of order… spouting random numbers RE: jobs… please go back to your bunker
— Wilstang (@wilstang15) June 5, 2020
The Nation is on fire due to racial injustice and Trump just called covid-19 “The China plague.”
He’s such a piece of shit.
— tempestuous taproot (@beetsbluecheese) June 5, 2020
United States is trying to recover from this racial injustice and Trump just called COVID-19 “China plague.”
Any words to Mr. President?
— Abhishek (@nepalabhi58) June 5, 2020
“China Plague” he’s not thru spreading division and hate while there’s a funeral going on for a man who lost his life because of hatred and division. Why iare the media covering this campaign speech live?
— stuart (@stuhunter1) June 5, 2020
Trump: “China plague”
Also Trump: https://t.co/Dvkxzsnw9p
— Kimmy The Pooh (@kimmythepooh) June 5, 2020
According to critics, such as the FBI who warned of an increase in crimes against Asians back in March and the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) who rejected the term, others are saying using the “China plague” or the “China virus” does not at all reflect racial equality, which he was supposedly touting.
At one point at the end of May, the POTUS even threatened to pull the U.S. out of the WHO, claiming that “China had ‘instigated a global pandemic,'” according to the New York Times.
This issue comes days after it was revealed that visas for thousands of Chinese graduate students with military ties to China are set to be canceled.
Trump also referred to COVID-19 as “the plague from China” last week.
Before the plague from China, America had the BEST Black unemployment rate in American history.
— Team Trump (Text TRUMP to 88022) (@TeamTrump) June 3, 2020
During an interview with former White House press secretary Sean Spicer, the president said: “If you look before the plague came in from China, which should’ve never happened, they should’ve never allowed that to happen, but before that happened, we had the best Black unemployment rate in the history of our country.”
Although he has defended his past use of “Chinese virus,” Trump claimed in an interview back in March with Fox News that he will stop using such terms.
Feature Image via CNBC Television