A photo of President Trump’s notes for his Thursday coronavirus task force press briefing shows that “Corona” was crossed out and replaced with “Chinese.”
Jabin Botsford, a staff photographer at The Washington Post, tweeted out the photo of Trump’s notes, showing the phrase “Corona Virus” was crossed out with a sharpie.
“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,” Botsford posted.
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
This latest incident comes as top World Health Organization officials have called on people to stop calling it such terms, warning it ramps up hateful rhetoric to Asian Americans.
Trump has repeatedly defended calling the virus the “Chinese virus,” saying “It’s not racist at all.”
“It comes from China, that’s why,” he said during a press conference Wednesday. “I want to be accurate.”
Trump has also used the phrase in his tweets.
Several other Republican leaders like Rep. Paul Gosar (Ariz.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) have called COVID-19 the “Wuhan virus” and “Chinese coronavirus,” sparking criticism.
A photo taken by Botsford last week of Vice President Mike Pence’s note shows “POTUS grateful” circled near the top of the document.
— Jeffrey Stein (@JStein_WaPo) March 10, 2020