“I’m upset with China”: Evaluation of President Donald Trump’s Stances on Coronavirus Pandemic

David Olorunsogo, Oluwakemi Esther Akinade

Abstract



The outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in 2019 claimed so many lives in Wuhan City, Hubei province, China, where it was first discovered and assumed the status of epidemic. In 2020, its status was upgraded by the World Health Organisation to a pandemic and as at April 2020, it has claimed over 95,000 human lives across the world. In the battle against the virus and concerted attempts to produce vaccine(s) that will cure those infected, the president of the United States of America, Donald Trump, did not fail to register his displeasure for the outbreak of the diseases and position that the virus’ identity cannot be separated from China, being the location of the first outbreak. The stances that Trump about Coronavirus in relation to China is the focus of this study. The remarks by President Donald Trump at the Coronavirus Task Force Press Briefing which held at James S. Brady Press Briefing Room between March 17 and March 26, 2020 formed the data for this study. Hyland (2005) theory of stance and engagement was used to identify the opinions of Trump. The stances identified are COVID-19 is not an act of God, China is the source of COVID-19, Chinese government refused to warn the world, and America is at war with a Chinese virus. Trump’s ability to deploy stance tools effectively to present his opinions and judgment against China, vindicates him from being tagged racist even though the utterances appear racist.

 

Keywords: Coronavirus pandemic, Stance and engagement, Chinese virus, China, Donald Trump, Media discourse


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