Trump Abruptly Ends Press Conference As Reporter Challenges Him On ‘Ask China’ Retort

May 11, 2020

President Donald Trump abruptly ended a press conference Monday after telling an American reporter who was born in China to “ask China” about coronavirus testing statistics.

CBS News’ Weijia Jiang had asked Trump why he insisted on framing the United States’ testing capacity relative to other countries, to which Trump replied, “ask China.”

“Don’t ask me, ask China that question, okay?” he said. “When you ask them that question, you may get a very unusual answer.”

“Sir, why are you saying that to me specifically?” Jiang responded. Trump dodged the question, saying he was posing the question to “anybody that would ask a nasty question like that.”

Jiang protested the characterization, but Trump moved on, calling on CNN’s Kaitlin Collins before trying to pass onto another reporter instead.

“Sir, I just want to let my colleague finish,” Collins said. But Trump was done. “Ladies and Gentleman, thank you very much,” he said, leaving the briefing.

The briefing largely focused on testing capacity in the United States — a combined private, local and federal effort and a key aspect of Trump’s effort to “reopen” the country. At one point, Trump read from prepared remarks that “We have met the moment, and we have prevailed.” He later said that the United States had “prevailed” with regard to testing capacity, not in the virus’ impact on the country.

“You never prevail when you have 90,000 people, 100,000 people, when you have 80,000 people as of today, when you have the kind of death, potentially millions of people throughout the world, that are dying, that’s not prevailing,” he said. 

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