Trump Says Chinese President Xi Told Him That Heat Will Kill Coronavirus 'by April'

President Donald Trump said Monday that Chinese President Xi Jinping had told him that the novel coronavirus that spread to the rest of the world from the city of Wuhan was likely to die off in the spring because of the heat.

Trump made the remarks at the White House while speaking at an event with U.S. state governors.

"I had a long talk with President Xi—for the people in this room—two nights ago, and he feels very confident," Trump said. "He feels very confident, and he feels April or during the month of April, the heat, generally speaking, kills this kind of virus. So that would be a good thing.

"But we're in great shape, in our country," the president continued. "We have 11 [confirmed cases of the coronavirus]. And the 11 are getting better."

Journalist Oliver Willis shared a series of clips of the press conference on Twitter, including the one in which the president discussed the coronavirus.

Trump's words echoed what he wrote in a tweet on Friday, in which he said he had a phone conversation with Xi.

Referring to the coronavirus, Trump says he was told by China's President Xi, "By April, during the month of April, the heat generally kills this kind of virus, so that would be a good thing."

— Oliver Willis (@owillis) February 10, 2020

"[Xi] is strong, sharp and powerfully focused on leading the counterattack on the Coronavirus," the president wrote. "He feels they are doing very well, even building hospitals in a matter of only days. Nothing is easy, but ... he will be successful, especially as the weather starts to warm & the virus hopefully becomes weaker, and then gone."

....he will be successful, especially as the weather starts to warm & the virus hopefully becomes weaker, and then gone. Great discipline is taking place in China, as President Xi strongly leads what will be a very successful operation. We are working closely with China to help!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 7, 2020

The president is not the only one to predict that the coronavirus would have a diminished impact by April. For example, S&P Global, a financial services corporation based in New York City, also predicted that the virus would likely "stabilize globally in April 2020, with virtually no new transmissions in May," Axios reported on February 4. "Our worst-case projection holds that the virus stops spreading in late May, and optimistically in March," said S&P.

However, as CNN reported, some medical professionals are cautious—but hopeful—that what Xi told Trump will come to pass.

"It's a respiratory virus, and we know respiratory viruses are very seasonal, but not exclusively," William Schaffner, who specializes in infectious disease at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said. "One would hope that the gradual spring will help this virus recede. We can't be sure of that."

Further, Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine in Texas, said that it would be "reckless" to assume that the virus will be killed by the heat until more is known about it.

"We don't really understand the basis of seasonality, and of course we know we absolutely nothing about this particular virus," Hotez said.

The novel coronavirus was identified as the cause of a potentially fatal respiratory illness in late 2019. It is believed to have originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

As of Monday, the virus had killed at least 910 people in China, according to the country's National Health Commission. A majority of these people resided in Hubei, the province where Wuhan is located.

There are currently 12 confirmed cases of the virus in the U.S., the CDC reported. No one in the country has yet died as a result of the virus.

President Trump Delivers Remarks At White House
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a “White House Business Session with Our Nation’s Governors” event in the State Dining Room at the White House February 10, 2020 in Washington, DC. Alex Wong/Getty