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Blame game: US, China accuse each other of coronavirus fear-mongering

Blame game: US, China accuse each other of coronavirus fear-mongering

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The United States and China on Monday each demanded that the other stop smearing its reputation over the novel coronavirus as Donald Trump referred to the pathogen as the “Chinese Virus.”

Trump’s allies had previously referred to the pandemic as the “Chinese coronavirus”, but the tweet marks the first time the president said it himself.

Critics slammed the move, calling it racist and potentially inciting a backlash against the Asian-American community.

How did this entire blame game start?

The clash came on the day that the World Health Organisation said more cases and deaths had been reported in the rest of the world than in China, where the new coronavirus virus was first detected late last year. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a phone call he initiated with top Chinese official Yang Jiechi, voiced anger that Beijing has used official channels “to shift blame for COVID-19 to the United States,” the State Department said.

Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, in tweets last week in both Mandarin and English, suggested that “patient zero” in the global pandemic may have come from the United States — not the Chinese metropolis of Wuhan.

Scientists suspect that the virus first came to humans at a meat market in Wuhan that butchered exotic animals.

Also read: Trump claims coronavirus pandemic could end in US by July

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