WASHINGTON—Declaring that he was looking forward to showing the influential global entity around the country, President Donald Trump held a diplomatic ceremony Wednesday to formally welcome the coronavirus to the United States. “This is a historic day for America, and I hope that the coronavirus will appreciate our efforts to give it a warm reception and work with us to build a thriving, mutually beneficial relationship,” said the president, announcing that Covid-19 would join him on the White House South Lawn for the presentation of an American flag accompanied by a military brass band, before a meeting with high-ranking administration officials and leaders from the business community in the Oval Office. “We have a full itinerary planned over the next few days in which will tour a variety of Washington cultural sites, newly built manufacturing facilities, and even the state-of-the-art Johns Hopkins Hospital, so the coronavirus can observe firsthand the best of American pride and ingenuity. We are excited to develop a stronger bond with such an influential force in the international community, and we hope that a strong partnership with the coronavirus could lead to further diplomatic relations with H1N1, SARS, and other prominent global viruses.” At press time, a Trump administration spokesperson announced a change to the diplomatic itinerary after the coronavirus had expressed an interest in touring the CDC director’s lungs.
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