After 12 days out of sight while the coronavirus death toll surged, Chinese President Xi Jinping finally made a public appearance on Monday. He wore a face mask and a medical worker took his temperature at a "front-line" coronavirus facility in the Chaoyang district of Beijing.
For the last two weeks, Xi has been out of public view. He briefly met with Cambodia's autocratic leader, Hun Sen, but was otherwise off camera while his country faced a crisis that has now killed more people than the 2002 SARS outbreak.
Video: Chinese President Xi Jinping inspected the #novelcoronavirus pneumonia prevention and control work in Beijing on Monday afternoon. Xi visited residents and staff in a community in Chaoyang District to learn about the situation of the frontline work. https://t.co/n2zr4Ckifs pic.twitter.com/fYLk7DqIzs
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) February 10, 2020
From the Washington Post:
It was unclear whether Xi's appearance Monday was connected to the proliferation of signs of frustration among some Chinese citizens, but the president's message was clear: Trust the Communist Party with confronting the outbreak.
According to state television, Xi acknowledged that the situation remains serious. But he added that the Chinese leadership would take further measures to contain the spread of the virus and prevent mass layoffs as a result of the economic fallout.
China, he said, would prevail over the virus.
[washingtonpost.com, Rick Noack Feb. 10, 2020]