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Trump repeats 'China virus' rhetoric, but Internet prefers the term 'Trump virus' as US death toll nears 130k

Trump repeated his earlier claim that an abundance of testing made the country’s cases look worse than they were
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The United States has been struggling to respond to the coronavirus pandemic as officials warned that the country's hospitals were in danger of being overwhelmed by the upsurge. As US President Donald Trump continued to use the racist term "China virus" in a tweet on July 5, many took to social media to instead dub the virus as the "Trump virus" as cases and death toll continue to rise in the US.

At the time of writing, according to resources by the Johns Hopkins University, the number of COVID-19 cases in the country approached 2.9 million, as the death toll from the virus stands at 129,947.

In one of his latest tweets, Trump tweeted, "New China Virus Cases up (because of massive testing), deaths are down, 'low and steady'. The Fake News Media should report this and also, that new job numbers are setting records!" — once again referring to the coronavirus by the racist term his supporter base appreciates.

In a speech at the White House on July 4, Trump sought to dismiss widespread criticism of his administration’s slow and ineffective response to the virus. He repeated his earlier claim that an abundance of testing made the country’s cases look worse than they were and went on to assert that 99% of the nation’s cases were “totally harmless.” Trump's claims were decried by public health experts. Former FDA commissioner Dr Scott Gottlieb said on CBS's 'Face the Nation' that “certainly more than 1 percent of people get serious illness” if they are infected. He estimated that when all cases were counted, including asymptomatic ones, between 2% and 5% of infected people become sick enough to require hospitalization.

Many took to Twitter to slam the President's repetitive racist rhetoric, choosing instead to brand the virus as the "Trump virus." A user opined, "Sorry it stopped being the China Virus [at] the End of March it then became the trump virus. [The biggest] killer of Americans since World War 2. The trump virus is what happens when you do nothing during a pandemic and scoff at testing. 131,000 dead in the USA. TRUMP LIES AND WE DIE!" Another wrote, "If we originally called Covid-19 the China Virus because it originated in China, seems fair that we rename it #TrumpVirus because it's now spreading like wildfire through the US because of Trump."

A user tweeted, "Trump put himself above Americans. His inaction and lies killed Americans. This is the Trump Virus." Another wrote, "It's the trump virus, [you're] the one that did nothing for 70 days. [It's your] fault it's out of control." One user opined, "Don't let Kanye West or Paris Hilton distract you from the deadly spread of the Trump Virus. #EndTheNightmare."

Over the past week, 13 states reported new highs in their seven-day case averages, with Montana, Delaware and Alaska experiencing the biggest percentage change from their past records. West Virginia also set a record number of daily cases with 130. Meanwhile, South Carolina, Texas, Arizona, Nevada and California reported record numbers of current COVID-19 hospitalizations.