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Donald Trump uses military graduation to attack China over coronavirus

Photo of Donald Trump next to photo of masked US Army graduates

Donald Trump attacked China during a US Army graduation ceremony at West Point Academy on Saturday (Pictures: AP/.)

Donald Trump has hit out at China while attending a military graduation at the prestigious West Point Army Academy. Speaking at the facility in upstate New York on Saturday, Trump said: ‘I want to take this opportunity to thank all members of American’s armed forces who stepped forward to help battle the invisible enemy.

‘The new virus that came to our shores from a distant land called China. we will vanquish the virus. We will extinguish this plague.’

Trump also thanked the US National Guard after talking tough over ongoing Black Lives Matter protests and riots in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

He said: ‘I also want to thank the men and women of our national guard who respond with precision to so many challenges, including…ensuring
peace, safety and the constitutional rule of law on our streets.’

PHOTO OF GRADUATION CEREMONY

Saturday’s graduation ceremony was socially-distanced, with cadets sat well apart to stop the spread of coronavirus (Picture: AP)

Trump has repeatedly attacked China over the coronavirus pandemic, which is widely-believed to have begun in the city of Wuhan last year. He accused China’s communist government of covering up the transmissibility of the virus, and of hiding the true number of people infected and killed by Covid-19.

The president has been accused of trying to deflect from his own shortcomings with tackling the pandemic, which saw him dismiss the severity of coronavirus throughout February and avoid locking down much of the United States.

Trump was also condemned for querying whether an injection of disinfectant could help treat the virus, sparking fears people would listen to his advice and seriously harm or kill themselves.

Saturday’s graduation ceremony at West Point saw army cadets sit spaced apart, with no family present for the event. A US Army band played their instruments from behind plexiglass screens to help avoid transmitting coronavirus.

President Trump famously avoided being drafted to fight in the Vietnam War after claiming bone spurs in his feet would have prevented him from being an effective serviceman.

Coronavirus has now infected close to 2.1million Americans, and killed over 116,000 people.

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