WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump has defended the Asian Americans, calling them “amazing people”, following the increasing attack on the community after his use of the term “Chinese virus” for the deadly coronavirus.
Last week, President Trump said that China is responsible for the spread of the novel coronavirus and called the COVID-19 as the “Chinese Virus”.
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He insisted the term was accurate because the virus originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
“It is very important that we totally protect our Asian-American community in the United States and all around the world,” Trump told reporters at a White House news conference.
“They (Asian Americans) are amazing people and the spreading of the virus is not their fault in any way, shape or form. They are working closely with us to get rid of it. We will prevail together. That is very important,” Trump said.
Over the last few days reports have emerged of a series of attacks on Chinese Americans.
His critics, in particular human rights bodies and the Democrats, allege that his recent remarks describing coronavirus as “Chinese Virus” because of its origin, has created anti-Chinese atmosphere in the US. However, Trump has denied this.
CNN also reported that Asian-American group has been the target of a growing number of racist and xenophobic attacks related to the virus.
“It seems that there could be a little bit of nasty language towards the Asian Americans in our country and I don’t like that at all. These are incredible people. They love our country and I’m not going to let it happen. So I just wanted to make that point,” Trump said.
According to the Johns Hopkins coronavirus tracker, the death toll from the virus globally has risen to 16,559 with 381,598 cases reported in 168 countries and territories.
The World Health Organisation has discouraged such terminology, saying it can stigmatise communities and falsely indicate to others that they cannot be infected.
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