President Trump, when asked what steps he is taking to stop hate crimes against Asian Americans, said he didn’t “know” and added that “all I know is Asian Americans are doing fantastically well.”
“I don’t know,” Trump initially said when asked what steps he was taking but added that his tweet earlier in the week “was a very important tweet to me, and I didn’t like some things I was hearing.”
“To me, Asian Americans are a great part of our country,” Trump said Thursday in the briefing room.
Trump also said of Asian Americans; “I’m very close to them. They’re doing fantastically well. I think they appreciate the job we’re doing."
On Tuesday, Trump said that he had decided to pull back from associating the novel coronavirus with China, which he had previously done by calling it the "China virus" or the "Chinese virus."
"Look, everyone knows it came out of China, but I decided we shouldn't make any more of a big deal out of it," Trump told Fox News. "I think I've made a big deal. I think people understand it."
The President said he didn't regret using the terms to describe the virus and defended his past adoption of the terms by referencing other infectious diseases that are named after where they originate.
"It came from China," he said.
When the virus was officially named, WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus noted that "having a name matters to prevent the use of other names that can be inaccurate or stigmatizing."
Separately, Trump said he would be speaking with China's President Xi Jinping Thursday evening.