Trump calls coronavirus a 'foreign virus' in Oval Office address, mocked for his ignorance about outbreak
After downplaying the seriousness of the outbreak for weeks, the president finally addressed the nation from the White House and some of his statements were problematic
After WHO declared the coronavirus a global pandemic, US President Donald Trump made a televised announcement from the Oval Office on Wednesday, March 11, banning "all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days."
"We have seen dramatically fewer cases of the virus in the United States than are now present in Europe," Trump said, reading the teleprompter from behind the Resolute Desk. "The European Union failed to take the same precautions and restrict travel from China and other hot spots. As a result, a large number of new clusters in the United States were seeded by travelers from Europe."
During his speech, the POTUS referred to coronavirus as the "foreign virus" which "started in China." The WHO has time and again advised people not to refer to the virus as a "Wuhan virus," (since the first cases were reported in that city), the "Chinese virus" or an "apocalypse."
So the particular phrase being used by the president did not sit well with a lot of people on social media.
"The WHO called coronavirus a pandemic, or a global threat, not bound to any location. President Trump called it a foreign virus. Yes, it started in China, but how can a more-or-less lifeless virus be foreign?" one said, while another commented, "'A foreign virus?' Those words show Trump still doesn’t get infection. There are no such things as 'foreign viruses.' It’s here now. We have an epidemic HERE. Ending travel to/from Europe will do little without domestic disease management. We still don’t have it. Time may be up."
There were others who did not hold back while dissing the president. "Dear all MAGAts in this thread: Viruses don't have nationalities," one said, while a second wrote, "So viruses have a nationality???? We're going to need a bigger wall! Lol"
However, not everyone thought that there were racist or xenophobic connotations to what the commander-in-chief said.
"Which is factually correct. Thank you providing yet another example of why you and your ilk are widely considered the enemy of the people," one person wrote, while another said, "Did you want him to lie or omit the facts about where it originated?"
A third opined, "So China is not Foreign? Are you just ignorant? When I apply for travel abroad, it clearly states "Foreign Travel"! It started in Wuhan province in CHINA! Are we supposed to pretend it originated in Dallas, TX??"