Thanks to an ever-vigilant media, we’ve all heard by now that calling the coronavirus anything but its given name of COVID-19 is xenophobic and racist, as though Wuhan and China were races. That same media was taken down in a brilliant video compilation by the Media Research Center, which showed plenty of cable news anchors and pundits calling COVID-19 the “Wuhan virus” before calling it that was uncool.
Even Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt was on the case, which was ironic, seeing as he cited a New York Times article about conservative politicians calling it the Wuhan virus — even though the New York Times themselves had already run headlines and tweets about the Wuhan virus.
Elected leaders have a responsibility to refer to this virus by its clinical name and not incite fear and xenophobia. https://t.co/4RzXcmuPjk
— Jonathan Greenblatt (@JGreenblattADL) March 12, 2020
So even after a week-long news cycle of lectures about what to call the coronavirus, President Trump took to Twitter and tweeted about the Chinese virus Monday.
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
Here’s Eugene Gu, aka Mary Laury, who sued because he was blocked by Trump, back to business as usual.
There it is. I’ve been deathly afraid of this exact moment where Trump turns to racism and xenophobia and calls COVID-19 the “Chinese Virus.” We are in deep trouble as a nation now that President of the United States makes the conscious decision to go down this dark path of hate.
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) March 16, 2020
And the Palmer Report, which is so famous we don’t even know what Palmer’s first name is.
It's not a the "Chinese Virus" you fucking racist dickhead!
— Palmer Report (@PalmerReport) March 16, 2020
Here’s Politico’s Gabby Orr on the case:
Note that Trump is now calling it the “Chinese Virus” (which is what several Fox News personalities have been calling it). Just yesterday he was calling it Coronavirus in tweets https://t.co/SitCqmy0Ld
— Gabby Orr (@GabbyOrr_) March 16, 2020
It didn’t get past Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin either:
“The Chinese Virus” https://t.co/Sm8wotuz6h
— Josh Rogin (@joshrogin) March 16, 2020
And here’s PBS’s Yamiche Alcindor accusing the president of “leaning on cultural wars.”
Pres Trump changed his entire tone during today's WH briefing on coronavirus. He was somber. He said U.S. & world had no control over it. He said U.S. might see a recession.
Now, just 4 hrs later, he is back to leaning on cultural wars & calling coronavirus the "Chinese virus." https://t.co/LIvosx1oyH
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) March 16, 2020
The Chinese virus? The one that originated in China?
— J.G. Petruna (@jgpetruna) March 16, 2020
Yes, what he's calling it is the important news of the day.
— JD1367 (@JD1367a) March 16, 2020
You're a serious reporter.
— Hooray Beerz (@HoorayBeerz1) March 16, 2020
Or Wuhan virus is fine, too
— QParticle (@mrnowise) March 16, 2020
— Preaus (@Preaus) March 16, 2020
Note: Y’all have been calling it some form of China, a providence of China, a city in China, or some other form of Asian ground zero for weeks. Let’s go ahead and shut up about it now. Hypocrisy is boring, ya?
— Lanette Taylor (@Lanettetay) March 16, 2020
Hi Josh, where did the virus come from?
— Ice Clown ????? (@hkyshawn) March 16, 2020
Yes. It came from China. Do you not know that?
— Ben Peterson (@jazzfan71) March 16, 2020
Absolutely. What else would it be
— Kip Herriage (@KHerriage) March 16, 2020
Sorry, the vast majority of us do not wish to assist you with the CPC's talking points and misinformation campaign.
— Sionann (@shanoodle) March 16, 2020
Are you saying you have a problem with that? What's with the American media's love of China?
— Kelly (@Kisouttahere) March 16, 2020
— Kemal Ünal (@attykemalunal) March 16, 2020
A senior Chinese diplomat suggested on Twitter that the virus originated in the U.S. and that perhaps the U.S. Army let the virus loose in Wuhan … but don’t let that stop you from carrying China’s water.
OK but let us not forget the Chinese government (like ambassadors) have been spreading crap about the source of the virus being the U.S. Army. I am not a Trump defender at all but there are two sides of this story ! Report the other side too.
— Brent Erickson (@BErickson_BIO) March 16, 2020
Let us not forget that everybody was calling it the Wuhan coronavirus or even the Chinese coronavirus two weeks ago.
— Living 518 (@Falze_AMB) March 16, 2020
* * *
Alcindor seems to have missed an opportunity to opine on Trump’s tweet on-air on PBS New Hour; she did her live shot before Trump’s tweet went up:
Note: This live shot was before Trump tweeted calling coronavirus the "Chinese virus."
He was somber a few hours earlier & talked about the need for international coordination to stop the virus. Then he took to Twitter and spoke again of the virus as a sort of foreign invader. https://t.co/T7bUGprUuw
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) March 16, 2020
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) March 17, 2020
Scandal: President Trump refers to COVID-19 as a ‘foreign virus,’ CNN declares xenophobia https://t.co/xoUdej8nrj
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) March 12, 2020