President Trump said that he might refrain from calling the coronavirus as the “Chinese virus” if the Chinese community felt bothered by it.

Speaking at a briefing on Thursday, Trump said that he may avoid using the term, even though he felt there was nothing wrong with it. However, he said he might nix the term if China continues to protest against the use of the term which taints their nation, Fox News reported

“If you look at Ebola, right, if you look at Lyme in Connecticut, you look at all these different horrible diseases, they seem to come with a name with a location,” Trump said, rejecting objections from the media that the term was racist. “I don’t have to say it if they feel so strongly about it, we’ll see.”

Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs tweeted on Wednesday saying, it was not the time to blame others using terms like “Chinese Virus.” He added that the world opposed linking COVID-19 with any specific country or region.

“Shouting 'Chinese virus' or 'Wuhan virus' will not help with their own or international efforts against #COVID19. The U.S. should keep their own house in order, & contribute to the global fight against the virus,” Zhao wrote, blaming the U.S. for starting the argument on where the virus originated.

However, it was Zhao who first began touting that it was the U.S. army that brought the virus to Wuhan. It was in response that Trump began referring to coronavirus as the Chinese virus.

Trump is not the only person who has constantly tried to remind Americans that the virus originated in China. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has often referred to the virus as “Wuhan Virus” reminding people that Wuhan, a city in China's Hubei province, is where it all began. Other officials in the Trump administration have constantly tried to counter what they claim to be a disinformation campaign by China blaming the U.S. for the outbreak.

On Tuesday, a resolution was passed in the House which pinned the blame of the coronavirus outbreak on China. The move was criticized by a number of lawmakers who thought it would further risk the Asian Americans in the country who were already facing increased attacks as the virus spread in the country.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has explicitly warned anyone from linking the name of an illness with a location or ethnicity.

Speaking further in his briefing, Trump said that he had a call scheduled with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, which he thought would be a “fruitful call.”

On Thursday, the United States became the worst-hit country by the coronavirus with 82,547 confirmed cases and 1,182 deaths, overtaking Italy and China. At this rate, the U.S. will become the first country to register 100,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases.

US President Donald Trump will join fellow world leaders at the emergency videoconference
US President Donald Trump will join fellow world leaders at the emergency videoconference AFP / MANDEL NGAN