Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a message of sympathy to US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump following their coronavirus diagnosis, state TV has reported.
“My wife, Peng Liyuan, and I express our sympathies to you and your wife and wish you a fast recovery,” state TV cited the message as saying.
Chinese-US relations have tumbled to their lowest point in decades amid disputes over trade, technology, security, Beijing’s tightening of control over Hong Kong and complaints about abuses in China’s Muslim northwestern region of Xinjiang.
Mr Trump has blamed China, where the coronavirus outbreak began in December, of mishandling the pandemic and allowing it to spread.
Trump improving, but not ‘out of the woods’ yet
Mr Trump went through a “very concerning” period on Friday (local time) and faces a “critical” next two days in his fight against coronavirus at a military hospital, his chief of staff said on Saturday.
This is in contrast to a rosier assessment moments earlier by Mr Trump’s doctors, who took pains not to reveal the president had received supplemental oxygen at the White House before his hospital admission.
Mr Trump remained at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Sunday.
He offered his own assessment of his status on Saturday evening in a video from his hospital suite, saying he was beginning to feel better and hoped to “be back soon”.
“We’re still not on a clear path yet to a full recovery,” Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told reporters outside the hospital hours after.
Mr Trump’s chief doctor expressed cautious optimism but added the president was “not yet out of the woods.”
The changing, and at times contradictory, accounts created a credibility crisis for the White House at a crucial moment, with the president’s health and the nation’s leadership on the line.
With Mr Trump expected to remain hospitalised several more days and the presidential election looming, his condition is being anxiously watched by Americans.
Moreover, the president’s health represents a national security issue of paramount importance not only to the functions of the US government but to countries around the world, friendly and otherwise.
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