US President Donald Trump on Monday walked out of a press conference after he engaged in a verbal spat with one of the reporters at the event. Soaring tensions between Washington and Beijing are not new, and while answering a question thrown by a reporter, Trump hit out at China once again. However, the reporter who posed the question and identifies herself as 'a Chinese-born West Virginian' seemed to take personal offence to his answer hinting that he was trying to be racist towards her.
The final minute of Trump's news conference this evening pic.twitter.com/m6oGh1q9VF— Axios (@axios) May 11, 2020
As Trump exuded confidence about US' performance in tackling the COVID pandemic, the reporter named Weijia Jiang asked, "Why is this a global competition when every day, Americans are still losing their lives?" In response to her question, Trump said, "They are losing their lives everywhere in the world. And maybe that's a question you should ask China. Don't ask me, ask China that question," yet again calling attention to the 'origin' of the COIVD-19 virus.
However, in response to his answer, the Jiang asked, "Sir, why are you saying that to me specifically?" "I'm saying it to anybody who would ask a nasty question like that," Trump said in defence.
The US and China have been on loggerheads especially after Trump and US secretary of state Mike Pompeo China claimed that there is evidence that the pathogen came from the Wuhan lab. However, China has strongly denied the allegations with China’s ambassador, Cui Tankai calling for an end to the ‘blame game’.
More than 80,000 people have died in the US from the coronavirus pandemic, out of more than 1.38 million cases, according to the latest figures reported by the Johns Hopkins University.