US President Donald Trump ended a White House press conference abruptly after a heated exchange with a reporter of Chinese descent, whom the president instructed to “ask China”.
CBS News reporter Weijia Jiang asked Trump why he repeatedly lauded the US government’s efforts to expand Covid-19 testing even though the number of cases in the country has continued to increase.
“Why is this a global competition when, every day, Americans are still losing their lives?” Jiang asked after Trump pointed out that the US has done more tests than any other country.
“They’re losing their lives everywhere in the world,” Trump replied. “And maybe that’s a question you should ask China. Don’t ask me, ask China that question, OK?”
“I just wanted to let my colleague finish, but can I ask you a question?” Collins said, trying to keep the floor.
Many of the White House press briefings since the Covid-19 pandemic began in the US have been marked by testy exchanges between Trump and the correspondents, many of whom challenge the president on his claims about successes in his administration’s efforts to control the spread.
The number of new daily cases in the United States continues to hold at more than 20,000 daily. And in many states – Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, Kansas and Maryland, among them – daily reported cases are still on the rise.
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Social media users picked up on the tussle with the hashtag #StandWithWeijiaJiang on Twitter.
Star Trek actor and prominent Asian-American activist George Takei immediately weighed in with a post that said: “I #StandWithWeijiaJiang against Trump’s racist tantrums.”