Presidents Trump, Xi Discuss Coronavirus Response As Death Toll Passes 600; Xi Declares ‘People’s War’ On Virus

The Hill: Trump discusses coronavirus with China’s Xi
“President Trump on Thursday spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping about the coronavirus after officials said more than 600 people had died from the disease in China. ‘President Trump expressed confidence in China’s strength and resilience in confronting the challenge of the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak,’ a White House spokesman said in a statement. ‘The two leaders agreed to continue extensive communication and cooperation between both sides.’ The correspondence marked the first publicized call between the two leaders since the outbreak began in the Wuhan province…” (Samuels, 2/6).

New York Times: China Tightens Wuhan Lockdown in ‘Wartime’ Battle With Coronavirus
“The Chinese authorities resorted to increasingly extreme measures in Wuhan on Thursday to try to halt the spread of the deadly coronavirus, ordering house-to-house searches, rounding up the sick and warehousing them in enormous quarantine centers. The urgent, seemingly improvised steps come amid a worsening humanitarian crisis in Wuhan, one exacerbated by tactics that have left this city of 11 million with a death rate from the coronavirus of 4.1 percent as of Thursday — staggeringly higher than the rest of the country’s rate of 0.17 percent…” (Qin, 2/6).

Reuters: Xi says China has achieved ‘positive’ virus control results
“China has achieved ‘positive’ results in its prevention and control efforts in fighting the new coronavirus, President Xi Jinping told Saudi Arabia’s King Salman by telephone, China’s official Xinhua news agency reported. … China has declared a ‘people’s war’ on the virus and the whole nation is working as one to combat it, Xi said…” (Blanchard et al., 2/6).

Additional coverage of President Trump’s and President Xi’s comments on the coronavirus outbreak is available from Reuters (2) and VOA.

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