“It’s China’s fault, it should never have happened,” the President said, before referring to the virus as the “China plague.”
On Twitter, Hu Xijin, editor of the state-backed tabloid Global Times, wrote that the President and first lady Melania Trump, who also tested positive, “have paid the price for his gamble to play down COVID-19.”
Though China’s government is largely closed for the holiday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a short statement noting “relevant reports” and wishing “Mr. and Mrs. Trump a speedy recovery.”
Yet that seems unlikely to change. Trump could now take an even harder line on China, further leaning into the narrative he has already established that Beijing is ultimately to blame.
Beijing has always valued stability above all else. However, Trump’s diagnosis — whatever the outcome — threatens that stability, setting the stage for an uneasy golden week for China’s top leaders.
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