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Editor-in-chief of Chinese state-run newspaper mocks President Trump's COVID diagnosis
Photo by HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Image

Editor-in-chief of Chinese state-run newspaper mocks President Trump's COVID diagnosis

Say what?

An editor at one of China's state-run news outlets mocked President Donald Trump for contracting the coronavirus, according to a Friday report from the Daily Mail.

Trump announced in the early morning hours that he and his wife, first lady Melania Trump, tested positive for the virus, writing, "Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!"

What are the details?

Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of state-run paper the Global Times, reported the U.S. president's coronavirus diagnosis with "jeers," the Daily Mail reported Friday.

The editor of the Global Times — which, as the Daily Mail pointed out, is a "mouthpiece for the Communist party" — reported that Trump and the first lady "have paid the price" for downplaying the pandemic.

In the early days of the pandemic, China — where the deadly virus originated — reportedly concealed the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Hu, in the now-viral tweet, alleged that Trump's diagnosis highlights the severity of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States and said it is likely to sabotage the president's re-election bid.

In a Friday tweet, Hu wrote, "President Trump and the first lady have paid the price for his gamble to play down the COVID-19."

He added, "The news shows the severity of the US' pandemic situation. It will impose a negative impact on the image of Trump and the US and may also negatively affect his reelection."

It would appear that Hu has since deleted the tweet in question.

Image source: Wayback Machine screenshot

Later Friday, Hu retweeted well-wishes for the president and first lady, which said, "Saddened to learn #President and the #FirstLady of the #US tested positive. Hope they both have a speedy recovery and will be."

The tweet in question emerged from Hua Chunying, foreign ministry spokesperson.

'Controlled by the government'

According to Business Insider, Hu has been a decidedly outspoken critic of the the president and his administration. The outlet also describes the Global Times as a "purveyor of state-sponsored disinformation" which is published in both the Chinese and English languages.

In June, the U.S. Department of State designated the Global Times as a foreign mission that is "controlled by the government."

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