Americans have to "make this China virus go away" and it is happening, President Donald Trump has said, as he thanked the frontline workers for their incredible efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic. Trump appeared in a taped Oval Office conversation with a group of frontline workers - doctors, nurses, firemen, policemen, postal workers.
This was not the first time when Trump called the novel coronavirus as China's virus. In March, he had said that China is responsible for the spread of the novel coronavirus and called the COVID-19 as the "Chinese Virus". He, later, insisted the term was accurate because the virus originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.
Calling the group his "friends" and "the incredible workers" who helped the US fight the coronavirus, Trump said "we can call it many different things - from China virus - I don't want to go through all the names because some people may get insulted but that's the way it is. "These are great great people, doctors, nurses, firemen policemen. We want to thank you all, you have been incredible," he said.
"And we want to thank you and all of the millions of people that you represent," Trump said during the conversation, aired on the first night of the Republican National Convention. "I'm for the nurses, I'm for the doctors, I'm for everybody. We just have to make this China virus go away and it's happening," Trump said.
As of August 24, more than 5 million cases have been confirmed in the US. There have been more than 170,000 deaths in the country. Speaking to a postal worker in the group, he said "we're taking good care of our postal workers, that I can tell you. Believe me, we're not getting rid of our postal workers. You know they'd like to sort of put that out. If anyone does it's the Democrats, not the Republicans," he said.
Trump has been targetting the US Postal Service, claiming that voting by mail will result in huge fraud during the November 3 presidential election. Among the group of people on the tape were two police officers who had recovered from the coronavirus.
"That means we don't have to be afraid of you, once you recover. We have the whole thing with plasma happening. That means your blood is very valuable," Trump said, amid laughs. The US Food and Drug Administration on Sunday approved using blood plasma from COVID-19 survivors to treat other patients.
To one of the police officers, Trump asked what had helped him recover from COVID-19 and then said, "I won't even ask you about the hydroxychloroquine. It's a shame what they've done to that one. But I took it," Trump said, amid laughter from the group of people. Speaking on the first night of the convention were Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who came into the spotlight after they aimed their guns at Black Lives Matters protesters in June outside their home in St Louis.
"Whether it's the defunding of police, ending cash bail so criminals can be released back out on the streets the same day to riot again, we're encouraging anarchy and chaos on our streets," Mark McCloskey said. "It seems as if the Democrats no longer view the government's job as protecting honest citizens from criminals, but rather protecting criminals from honest citizens," McCloskey said.
He said that not a single person in the "out-of-control mob" outside his house was charged with a crime. "But you know who was, we were. They've actually charged us with felonies for daring to defend our home," he said. Patricia McCloskey said the Democrats are not satisfied with spreading the chaos and violence into American communities but want to abolish the suburbs all together through rezoning that would bring "crime, lawlessness and low-quality apartments into thriving suburban neighbourhoods."
"These are the policies that are coming to a neighbourhood near you. So make no mistake. No matter where you live, your family will not be safe in the radical Democrats' America," she said. Mark McCloskey said Trump will defend the "God-given right of every American to protect their homes and their families."
Patricia McCloskey added that when there is no basic safety and security in American communities, "we will never be free to build a brighter future for ourselves, for our children, or for our country. That's what's at stake in this election. And that's why we must re-elect Donald Trump.