The Washington Post's White House photographer, Jabin Botsford, captured a highly contentious photograph of U.S president, Donald Trump, in the midst of the COVID-19 chaos.
So often photographers play some role in political history, for better or worse. Sometimes those images are momentous, harrowing photographs of war or revolution, and sometimes they're more quiet and subtle. Botsford's image for the Washington Post is closer to the latter of those, though its impact likely far from momentous. The image is likely to become a strong talking point, however.
This week, Trump has come under fire at press conferences for referring to the coronavirus, COVID-19, as the "Chinese virus." Many questions were raised over whether this was racially motivated, with people coming to Trump's defense to say that the virus did indeed originate in China. Many were unconvinced and felt that it was a calculated move by Trump, and Botsford's image certainly points towards that being correct.
The image clearly shows that Trump's notes for his speech yesterday on COVID-19 originally had "Corona virus" written, which he had crossed out with a marker pen and replaced with "Chinese virus." This photograph will likely spark a lively debate on Trump's intention and call into question his motivations for that change. We are yet again shown the power of photography in even the most unlikely of moments.