Trump and Melania 'paid the price': Chinese propaganda mocks US president after Covid-19 diagnosis
- The editor-in-chief of one of China's state-run media outlets suggested that President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump "paid the price" by contracting the coronavirus.
- The Trumps tested positive for the coronavirus late Thursday, according to a statement from the White House physician.
- The Global Times, which has been widely panned as a purveyor of state-sponsored disinformation, is a tabloid published in both Chinese and English.
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Shortly after President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for the coronavirus early Friday morning, the editor-in-chief of one of China's state-run media outlets tweeted to suggest they deserve it.
"President Trump and the first lady have paid the price for his gamble to play down the Covid-19," Global Times editor-in-chief Hu Xijin tweeted.
"The news shows the severity of the US' pandemic situation," Hu added. "It will impose a negative impact on the image of Trump and the US, and may also negatively affect his reelection."
Trump was tested for the coronavirus after White House counselor Hope Hicks tested positive on Wednesday.
Hicks, a member of Trump's inner circle, was with the president throughout his travels this week, including an Air Force One flight to debate with Democratic nominee Joe Biden on Tuesday.
The White House physician Sean Conley issued a letter detailing the diagnosis. He said the Trumps "are both well at this time." Conley added that the president was expected "to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering."
"We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately," Trump tweeted on Friday morning. "We will get through this TOGETHER!"
Hu has been a vocal critic of the Trump presidency, particularly as the coronavirus pandemic spread throughout the globe and after US-China relations hit a roadblock. The Global Times, which has been widely panned as a purveyor of state-sponsored disinformation, is a tabloid published in both Chinese and English.
The US State Department in June designated the Global Times and several other Chinese media outlets as foreign missions "controlled by the government."
The State Department also limited the number of employees working for these Chinese media outlets in the US, citing "long-standing intimidation and harassment of journalists" in China.
The move prompted a retaliation from Beijing, which banned journalists from The New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal.
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