CLOSE The coronavirus (COVID-19) is impacting the global economy and raising fears of a recession. What causes a recession and what are the signs? USA TODAYWASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has doubled down on referring to the coronavirus pandemic as the “Chinese virus” as he tries to distance himself from criticism over how his administration is handling the response to the global pandemic that has shuttered public life across the U.S., roiled stock markets and left more than 200 people dead in the U.S.The president again defended his use of the term Wednesday despite mounting criticism among Asian-American advocates, health experts and Democratic lawmakers who warn referring to the virus by a location-specific name stigmatizes certain ethnic groups. “It’s not racist at all, no,” Trump told reporters at a coronavirus task force news conference Wednesday when asked about his preferred label. “It comes from China. I want to be accurate.” He said he was not concerned about Chinese Americans’ concerns about racism, either. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has also used the phrase, describing it at multiple press conferences as a “Chinese” virus and a “Wuhan” virus after the city in China where researchers say coronavirus originated. But race and global health experts argue describing COVID-19 as a “Chinese” virus exacerbates xenophobia amid the rapidly unfolding


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