US President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference amid the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, August 8, 2020.
Joshua Roberts | Reuters
President Donald Trump on Monday called on Americans to stop politicizing the coronavirus, only to blame the outbreak in the United States in China moments later.
“We must stop the politicization of the virus, but rather we must be united in our condemnation of how this virus came to America, how this virus came into the world,”; Trump said at a White House news conference on the coronavirus pandemic. “And we will understand and find out and we are very angry about that.”
Moments later, Trump blamed China as he discussed extending a freeze on home evictions due to the pandemic. He signed an executive order Saturday, extending federal protections against deportations following a moratorium that ended in late July.
“It’s not their fault. The virus came from China. ‘It’s China’s fault,” he said.
Using a rationally charged term, Trump also claimed that nearly half of all deaths in the U.S. from the “China virus” are in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
The virus, which emerged from Wuhan, China, just over seven months ago, has infected more than 20 million people worldwide and killed at least 732,128, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The US has the worst explosion in the world with more than 5 million cases and at least 162,950 deaths, Hopkins data show.
Trump has repeatedly blamed China for causing the pandemic and its deterioration in the US, saying China initially hid the extent of its outbreak.
However, public health experts say the Trump administration failing to act quickly to improve the virus, the lack of a coordinated response between the federal government and states, and early testing errors are among the main reasons the U.S. has so many cases.
Trump also defended the country’s progress with the pandemic on Monday, saying U.S. health officials continue to see “encouraging signs.” He said the rate of new cases continues to fall in Florida and Texas, as well as hospitalizations. The US is continuing to monitor states in the Midwest, which have seen an increase in the level of
“I mean at the end of a very short period of time we will be in good shape in this country,” he said.