Donald Trump has been slammed for a xenophobic Tweet describing the Covid-19 as “the Chinese virus”.

The US president posted a message aimed at supporting American industries as further cities across the United States began shutting down due to a rising number of cases of the condition.

However, some commentators have strongly criticised Mr Trump directly linking the virus to China following a wave of racist attacks on Asian-Americans in recent weeks.

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The World Health Organisation has previously warned against assigning geographical locations to the name of the pandemic over fears it could lead to discrimination against those of certain ethnicities.

President Trump posted: “The United States will be powerfully supporting those industries, like Airlines and others, that are particularly affected by the Chinese Virus. We will be stronger than ever before!”

Trump has previously referred to the disease as the ‘foreign virus,’ despite top US officials, including the head of the Centre for Disease Control, saying it was “absolutely wrong and inappropriate” to include a location in the name for the condition.

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio accused the president of “fuelling bigotry” after beginning a shut down of the city.

More than 1.1 million school pupils will be prohibited from attending classes until at least April 20, while bars, gyms and restaurants are also to be affected by closures.

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Posting on Twitter, he wrote: “If you’re looking for someone to pin this crisis on, try the guy who made up a phony Google website or promised testing kits that he STILL hasn’t delivered.

“Our Asian-American communities — people YOU serve — are already suffering. They don’t need you fueling more bigotry.”

It is estimated 85 people in the US have died from the condition, with almost 5,000 confirmed cases across the country.