US President Donald Trump has said he greatly respects China and shares a "very good" relationship with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, but termed it "unfortunate" that the coronavirus began in China and got out of control. Speaking at a press briefing on Friday, Trump said he considered Xi as a friend and asserted that the Chinese President respects the US.
"I have a very good relationship with China and with President Xi. I have great respect for President Xi. I consider him to be a friend of mine. It is unfortunate that this got out of control," he said. "They (coronavirus) came from China, it got out of control. Some people are upset. I know - I know President Xi. He loves China. He respects the United States and I have to say I respect China greatly and I respect President Xi," he said. Trump reiterated that coronavirus originated from China.
Trump has been calling the coronavirus a Chinese virus, and also defended his reamrk saying it is not racist at all. This remark from the President comes even after China's strong criticism following Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's "Wuhan Virus" statement. Apart from Pompeo, Trump’s national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, also made similar remarks.“Unfortunately, rather than using best practices, this outbreak in Wuhan was covered up. There’s lots of open-source reporting from China, from Chinese nationals, that the doctors involved were either silenced or put in isolation, or that sort of thing, so that the word of this virus could not get out. It probably cost the world community two months,” O’Brien had said
Replying to such remarks from US politicians, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang had on March 9 said, "Certain U.S. politicians turning a blind eye to science and the decision of the WHO has rushed to stigmatise China and Wuhan under the pretext of COVID-19. We condemn such despicable behaviour."
After three 'Mar-a-Lago' guests tested positive for the Coronavirus, with confirmed contact with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, the White House confirmed that he has been tested negative. The White House released the test results Saturday night after Trump told reporters hours earlier that he had taken the coronavirus test, following days of resisting being screened despite the fact that he had been in recent contact with three people who have tested positive for the virus, including members of the Brazilian president’s delegation who visited with him at his Florida resort.
(with PTI inputs)