Donald Trump is paying the price for trying to play down the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a senior state-employed Chinese journalist.
Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief of official state newspaper Global Times and a close ally of Chinese President Xi Jinping, tweeted the response to Trump’s shock announcement that he had tested positive for the bug.
Hu is unlikely to have spoken out on such a sensitive subject without being sure of government approval.
His full tweet read: “President Trump and the First Lady have paid the price for his gamble to play down the COVID-19.
“The news shows the severity of the US’ pandemic situation."
He continued: "It will impose a negative impact on the image of Trump and the US, and may also negatively affect his re-election."
Trump angered many in China with his insistence of describing Covid-19 as “The China Virus” and blaming Chinese officials for failing to contain the initial Wuhan outbreak.
The President’s personal doctor, Sean Conley, insisted that he would ‘"continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering."
Meanwhile, US defence chiefs reacted quickly to the news that the President might be out of action. Even before news broke that Trump had contracted the coronavirus two E-6B Mercury command and control aircraft began very visibly circling over the US coastline.
While the aircraft would normally deactivate their identifying transponders while on patrol the two nuclear-response planes appeared to have deliberately left theirs active this morning, ensuring that they popped up on the radar screens of aviation enthusiasts across the world.
The move has been widely interpreted as a warning to America’s enemies that defence forces remained vigilant and ready to retaliate even while the President is indisposed.
The Airborne Command Post planes are part of Operation Looking Glass – an insurance policy to provide backup control of America’s nuclear arsenal in the case of an enemy first strike taking out the Pentagon and the White House.
A senior US Defence Department official told Fox News there had been “no change to the posture of the U.S. military,” adding “the president remains the commander-in-chief.”
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