Former presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) criticized President Trump's use of the phrase "Chinese virus" to describe COVID-19 in way that echoes the authoritarian Chinese government.
In a tweet on Thursday, Warren posted a screenshot of a tweet from Trump where he used "Chinese virus," but blurred out the word "Chinese." Trump was explaining why signed the Defense Production Act to protect supply lines during the Wuhan virus outbreaks in the United States.
Warren called on Trump to "dragging your feet [and] burying your head & start helping hospitals that are about to be slammed by this pandemic."
President Trump, are your eyes stitched shut? Hospitals need test kits, ventilators, & other medical supplies. That's why the DPA exists. Stop dragging your feet & burying your head & start helping hospitals that are about to be slammed by this pandemic. pic.twitter.com/9bb4Bl05ob— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) March 19, 2020
Trump has been heavily criticized by Democrats and members of the media for referring to COVID-19 as the "Chinese virus." He explained his shift to labeling the virus as such because the authoritarian Chinese government has been claiming either the virus originated in the United States or the United States military created the virus in an attempt to absolve themselves of mishandling the initial outbreaks.
"Well, China was putting out information, which was false, that our military gave that to them. That is false. Rather than having an argument, I said, 'I have to call it where it came from. It did come from China.' So I think it's a very accurate term. So no, I didn't appreciate the fact that China was saying that our military gave it to them. Our military did not give it to anybody," he said during a press conference on Tuesday.
The Chinese government did try to hide how serious the outbreaks were in Wuhan and how easily transmissible the virus is, even ordering doctors who were studying it to destroy samples.