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“We could sit here and blame China until we’re blue in the face,” the noted journalist said, “but how is that going to help us right now? The fact of the matter is that we have just passed 1,000 Americans who have died of coronavirus. Our hospitals are hugely overwhelmed.”
“There is this invisible and silent killer amongst us — and we need to address it now. So, focusing on blaming China isn’t going to do us any good now. In fact, if anything, we should be asking China for help. They have reported no new cases of coronavirus. We should be saying, ‘OK, how can you help us now,’ because we are now the epicenter of the world.”
She added that the United States had “months” to prepare for the virus and it was “somewhat ludicrous” to suggest that China’s inaction prevented the U.S. from being more prepared. “We’re months into this crisis now and up until very very recently, up until it hit the United States, our president was in denial about it and still calling it a hoax,” she said.
Ling’s “hoax” reference seemed to be an oft-repeated claim that multiple fact-checkers have rated as false.
Her comments came as the Trump administration repeatedly highlighted the virus’ origins, referring to it as the “Chinese virus” — something Ling suggested was the culprit of recent racism against Asians.
Co-host Sunny Hostin asked Ling if her family and friends had experienced racism since the president called COVID-19 the “Chinese virus.”
“Oh, absolutely,” Ling responded. “I have friends’ kids who have been taunted. I have friends who have talked about being harassed in places, and if you just — if you Google stories about Asians being harassed since the president started calling this the Chinese virus, there are countless stories.
“In fact, the national crisis text hotline has had a sizable increase of Asians reporting that they are feeling depressed because they’ve been bullied and because they feel like they are somehow responsible for this crisis because the president has characterized it as the Chinese virus.”
Officials in China have turned their attention to the threat of the virus entering from abroad, with almost all new cases being recorded among people arriving from overseas. China’s National Health Commission on Tuesday reported 78 new coronavirus cases, among which 74 were imported.
Starting Wednesday, Beijing is requiring everyone coming from overseas to be tested for the coronavirus on top of being quarantined for 14 days. In a notice published online, city authorities said those who have entered the city within the last 14 days will also undergo mandatory testing.
President Trump on Saturday defended his administration’s actions in the early days of the coronavirus crisis, saying he was ahead of the curve in calling for a travel ban from China.
“I get a lot of credit for having closed our country very early to a very heavily infected country, China,” Trump said at a White House press briefing. “Unfortunately, China, I wish China would have told us more about what was going on in China long prior to us reading about it.”
Trump said that “China was very secretive. OK, very, very secretive. And that’s unfortunate with that. I have great respect for that country. I have great respect for the leader of that country,” he said. “He’s a friend of mine. But I wish they were able to. I wish they would have told us earlier.”
Fox News’ Adam Shaw and The Associated Press contributed to this report.