Lego says it had nothing to do with a Chinese state media video animation attacking Trump's coronavirus response
- The Lego Group has denied any involvement in an animation video posted by Chinese state media that attacks the US response to the coronavirus pandemic.
- The video, which uses Lego figures and animated voice-overs, accuses the US of ignoring the early warnings of the virus and jokes about the country's inconsistency in handling the virus.
- Lego told Business Insider that it wasn't involved in making the animation "in any way." Xinhua News Agency, which posted the video, did not respond to Business Insider.
- The animation comes as US-China relations appear to worsen, with President Donald Trump on Wednesday accusing Beijing of purposefully jeopardizing his reelection campaign.
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The Lego Group is distancing itself from a Chinese state media animation that uses its pieces to attack the US response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The two-minute video, posted by the state-run Xinhua News Agency on Thursday, follows a timeline of key events in the pandemic so far and uses two Lego figures — one dressed as the Statue of Liberty, and another dressed in medical scrubs — apparently to represent the US and China.Watch it here:
—China Xinhua News (@XHNews) April 30, 2020In the animation — designed as a debate between the two toy figures — China accuses the US of ignoring the early warning signs of the virus in December 2019 and dismissing it as being "just a flu."
It also references China's building two hospitals in Wuhan within ten days in February, the surge of infections in Italy in March, and Trump's announcing he would halt funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) in April.At one point, the Statue of Liberty accuses the other Lego toy of building a "concentration camp" in an apparent reference to US criticism over China's reeducation camps in Xinjiang, where at least one million Uighur Muslims have been detained.
Toward the end of the video, the Statue of Liberty says: "We are always correct even though we contradict ourselves," to which the masked Lego figure replies: "That's what I love best about Americans... your consistency."
'We weren't involved... in any way'Lego denies involvement in the video.A company spokesperson told Business Insider: "We weren't involved in making the animation in any way. As a toy company, we're focusing on bringing play to children and families."
The animation published as US-China relations appear to be deteriorating.Trump has flip-flopped on his attitude to China over the course of the pandemic, having in January praised the country and president Xi Jinping's response.
Trump has since repeatedly attacked China's handling of the outbreak, even saying that it may have started the virus deliberately.
Earlier this week he also suggested that China's handling of the novel coronavirus is proof that Beijing "will do anything they can" to make sure he isn't reelected in November.On Thursday, the White House announced it's working on a plan to punish China for the coronavirus, which include new trade sanctions, according to CNN. The yearslong US-China trade dispute has not been resolved.
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