China, meanwhile, accused Trump of spreading a “political virus” at the United Nations with President Xi Jinping calling for enhanced cooperation over COVID-19 and stressing China had no intention of fighting “either a cold war or a hot war with any country”.
Trump – facing a November re-election battle with the United States dealing with the world’s highest number of coronavirus deaths at more than 200,000 and infections at 6.8 million – focused his speech on attacking China.
Trump routinely describes COVID-19 as the “China virus” – a term many consider to be racist – and he did so again on Tuesday.
He accused Beijing of allowing people to leave China in the early stages of the outbreak to infect the world while shutting down domestic travel.
“When the international community is really fighting hard against the COVID-19, the United States is spreading a political virus here in the General Assembly,” said Zhang.