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Politics

Maine House Speaker Takes Lawmaker To Task Over 'China Virus' Email

AUGUSTA, Maine — House Speaker Ryan Fecteau has criticized a Republican lawmaker for calling the coronavirus the "Chinese virus" but he has no plans for formal reprimand.

House Speaker Ryan Fecteau said the coronavirus descriptor used by Republican Rep. Michael Lemelin in an email is "a racist trope" that was "offensive and wrong,"" but said it's voters' responsibility to hold lawmakers accountable.

Lemelin, whose district includes Chelsea, Jefferson, Nobleboro and Whitefield, said he was simply referring to the origin of the virus in Wuhan, China.