Donald Trump Criticized for Calling COVID-19 ‘Chinese Virus’ (UPDATE)

It’s either coronavirus or COVID-19. That’s it.

Donald Trump enters the press briefing room at the White House

Image via Getty/Tasos Katopodis

Donald Trump enters the press briefing room at the White House

UPDATED 3/19, 3:15 p.m. ET: In a close up of notes from Trump's Thursday coronavirus press briefing, it can be seen that he crossed out the word "corona" and replaced it with the word "Chinese."

Close up of President @realDonaldTrump notes is seen where he crossed out "Corona" and replaced it with "Chinese" Virus as he speaks with his coronavirus task force today at the White House. #trump #trumpnotes

— Jabin Botsford (@jabinbotsford) March 19, 2020

See original story below.

Donald Trump is facing a new wave of scrutiny after posting a tweet Monday night where he called the coronavirus “the Chinese Virus.”

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

Trump has since doubled down on his “Chinese Virus” label in a tweet early Tuesday where he reignited his ongoing dispute with Andrew Cuomo over the New York governor's demand for greater assistance from the federal government in order to combat this pandemic. 

Cuomo wants “all states to be treated the same.” But all states aren’t the same. Some are being hit hard by the Chinese Virus, some are being hit practically not at all. New York is a very big “hotspot”, West Virginia has, thus far, zero cases. Andrew, keep politics out of it....

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 17, 2020

CDC Director Robert Redfield backed Rep. Lois Frankel, who called out Trump last week for supporting use of “Chinese Virus” through a retweet. “It’s absolutely wrong and inappropriate to call this the Chinese coronavirus, I assume you would agree with that,” Frankel asked Redfield, who replied, “Yes.”

On Tuesday Trump explained his so-called rationale: “China, uh, was putting out information, which was false, that our military gave this to them. That was false. And rather than having an argument, I said I have to call it where it came from. It did come from China. So I think it’s a very accurate term. But no, I didn’t appreciate the fact that China said our military gave it to them—our military did not give it to anybody.”

“It did come from China, so I think it’s a very accurate term.” 

President Trump said he used the term "Chinese virus" because he didn't appreciate China saying the U.S. military gave the coronavirus to China

— Bloomberg Quicktake (@Quicktake) March 17, 2020

Asked if he thinks “China virus” creates a stigma, Trump toddlerishly replied, “No, I don’t think so. I think saying that our military creates a stigma.”

The virus, which is believed to have originated in Wuhan, China, was eventually renamed COVID-19 by the World Health Organization to divert attention and blame away from a particular city, people, etc. However, Trump’s attempt at rebranding the coronavirus has since been ignorantly embraced by his supporters, but the attention should primarily be focused on the people who have thoughtfully criticized him for using such divisive language at a time like this.

There’s a difference between saying a virus came from China versus calling it a Chinese virus. Asian Americans have already been assaulted & discriminated against because of this type of rhetoric. This language is totally unnecessary to address the crisis we are all facing.

— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) March 17, 2020

Dear @realDonaldTrump: Asian Americans will likely encounter more discrimination because of your tweet below. Please stop your unnecessary rhetoric.#COVID19 is now an American virus, an Italian virus, a Spanish virus. We all are impacted & we all need to work together.

— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) March 17, 2020

Trump is naming the coronavirus the “Chinese virus” so you’ll blame all the sickness and death, all the disruptions, all the financial loss in the US on Chinese people—and not the abysmal response of his administration. Don’t fall for this racism, for the latest form of Trumpism.

— Ibram X. Kendi (@DrIbram) March 17, 2020

Let me be clear: Calling #COVID19 the "Chinese Virus" is incredibly racist.

Ignorant tweets will only lead to hate and discrimination against the Asian American community.

Stop tweeting racist things and start figuring out how we are getting test kits to everyone who needs one.

— Mark Takano (@RepMarkTakano) March 17, 2020

I get why some people think the term ‘Chinese Virus’ is OK.

They are unlikely to be victims of the xenophobia that results.

But doing so can mean vital decisions are more likely to be informed by racism than fact.

This puts everyone at risk.

That’s coz viruses aren’t racist.

— James Wong (@Botanygeek) March 17, 2020

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