Trump defends calling coronavirus the ‘Chinese virus’

US President Donald Trump tells reporter calling coronavirus the ‘Chinese virus’ is ‘not racist at all’.

US President Donald Trump has defended repeatedly calling the coronavirus the “Chinese virus” during a news conference, ignoring criticism that it is racist. 

“It’s not racist at all,” Trump said, explaining his reasoning after a reporter told him many consider it racist. “It comes from China, that’s why.”

China experts argue that labelling the virus this way will only increase tensions between the two countries and encourage xenophobia. 

Asian-Americans have reported incidents of racial slurs and physical abuse over the perception that China caused COVID-19.

“And do you think, using the term ‘Chinese virus’, that puts Asian-Americans at risk, that people might target them?” A reporter asked at the news conference.

“No, not at all,” Trump reiterated. “I think they probably would agree with it 100 percent. It comes from China.”

Watch this excerpt from the news conference clipped by Al Jazeera’s NewsFeed team.