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Trump spin doctor gets in COVID-19 mix up

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Washington (AFP)

President Donald Trump's fiercest spin doctor, Kellyanne Conway, got into a factual spin of her own Wednesday when she erroneously suggested that COVID-19 is the 19th version of the disease.

The condition caused by the novel coronavirus is named "19" simply because it emerged in China in 2019. Conway, while seeking to criticize the World Health Organization for lack of preparation, falsely indicated that the label proved the WHO had already dealt with 18 previous versions.

"This is COVID-19, not COVID-1, folks," she declared on Fox News.

"You would think that people charged with the World Health Organization facts and figures would be on top of that."

Trump announced on Tuesday he was suspending US financial contributions to the WHO because he said it had been biased toward China and helped in covering up the seriousness of the coronavirus at the outset.

Domestic critics say that Trump is looking to distract attention from criticism that he is to blame for playing down the urgency of the situation early on.

Conway is one of Trump's most reliable defenders on the daily cable news shows.

A licensed attorney and professional pollster, she is renowned for her combative interviews and public put-downs of journalists asking questions critical of the president.

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