Trump Falsely Labels Coronavirus ‘Chinese Virus’
President Donald Trump called the novel coronavirus the “Chinese Virus” on Twitter Monday night, drawing immediate criticism that he was promoting xenophobia and racism based on a virus that is completely unrelated to race.
“The United States will be powerfully supporting those industries, like Airlines and others, that are particularly affected by the Chinese Virus,” Trump wrote. “We will be stronger than ever before!”
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 16, 2020
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website warns against stigmatizing the virus saying, it “hurts everyone by creating more fear or anger towards ordinary people instead of the disease that is causing the problem.”
“Stigma is associated with a lack of knowledge about how COVID-19 spreads, a need to blame someone, fears about disease and death, and gossip that spreads rumors and myths,” the website reads.
There has been an uptick in racist acts against Asians and a general avoidance of Chinese-American businesses since the virus originated in Wuhan, China.
“Right now, we’ve seen particularly troubling instances of discrimination directed at Asian communities, particularly in Chinese communities,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said during a media conference on Wednesday. “This is unacceptable.”
For instance, Lang Nguyen had a woman utter a racial slur at him as he waited in line to vote because he had choked on some water and coughed.
“The woman [in front of me] happened to turn around and say if you’re going to be sick you might want to stay home,” he told Austin, Texas’s NPR station KUT 90.5 Nguyen said he assured her he was not sick and then “she said some racial slur to me like, ‘All you Asian people are spreading that coronavirus’ and so forth.”
Chinese officials have condemned Trump’s tweet, and Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said, “the U.S. should first take care of its own matters.”