Xi Jinping made a rare public appearance amid coronavirus outbreak

Tim O'Donnell

China's President Xi Jinping was out and about in Beijing on Monday as part of an effort to show he's taking active role in the country's response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Xi doesn't often mingle with the public, per The New York Times, but his absence during the virus' spread has been particularly noticeable. So on Monday, he was seen making stops at various spots in the capital, including a community center, hospital, and center for disease control. The president was wearing a surgical mask and had his temperature taken. He also spoke with medical workers in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, via video conferencing.

Wu Qiang, an independent political analyst in Beijing, said the virus has put "pressure" on Xi to show both the public and Chinese Communist Party insiders that he was at the heart of the government's response. "It has become a matter of political security," Wu said. "Political security does not mean in the sense of popular resistance but rather that the epidemic may spread to Beijing and Shanghai, endangering the political operations of the so-called capital areas." Read more at The New York Times.

More stories from theweek.com
Elizabeth Warren didn't waste time before conceding in New Hampshire
Why Wall Street isn't freaking out about Bernie Sanders
President Bloomberg?