It is appalling but sadly unsurprising to see President Trump use something as serious as a global pandemic into yet another opportunity for cheap xenophobia. Ever since the coronavirus crisis began, racist conspiracy theories as to its origin have been circulating on right-wing social media and amplified by prominent pro-Trump commentators; now it appears the President himself is insisting on pushing them with his decision to call it the “Chinese Virus” instead of the coronavirus or COVID-19.
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
While it is true the virus originated in China, the man most responsible for its spread in the United States has been Donald Trump himself, who allegedly tried to slow-walk virus testing in order to minimize the number of reported cases in case it hurt his re-election efforts. Now he’s clearly trying to pass the buck by pointing the finger at China, who may have had some missteps in trying to contain the original outbreak but have taken serious, decisive measures that have produced a clear decline in new cases.
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It was the Trump administration that decided to refuse to accept the test kits that the World Health Organization was shipping to countries around the world at the end of February and played a key role in enabling the spread of the virus. Instead, reports POLITICO, they decided to go ahead with an American-made test that inevitably was delayed by manufacturing issues, lab contamination, and logistical problems.
He even had the nerve to publicly announce that he’s refusing to take any responsibility for the delays in testing. Why bother when you can just blame someone else?
Social media immediately gave him an earful for his racist dogwhistle:
It is inexplicably irresponsible for anyone, let alone the PRESIDENT of the United States, to refer to COVID-19 as the “Chinese Virus”.
He knows exactly the type of discrimination, violence, and hardship he is invoking on an innocent demographic by doing this. https://t.co/gIKml4y58g
— antonio (@antoniodelotero) March 16, 2020
“…the Chinese Virus”. Judge for yourself whether, during a time of global crisis, a responsible world leader would chose to use an expression like this. Seems like being on board the Titanic & trying to wedge “the Canadian Iceberg” instead of getting everyone into the lifeboats https://t.co/zf07rPFwam
— Stephen McDonell (@StephenMcDonell) March 16, 2020
If Trump is going to call #covid19 'the Chinese Virus' then let's start calling the Spanish Flu of 1918 "the Kansas Virus."
— John Fugelsang (@JohnFugelsang) March 16, 2020
The Chinese virus?
You ignorant racist. People are dying of the coronavirus in this country and our economy is tanking because of your stupidity. https://t.co/N3Tnq42qF8
— Polly Sigh (@dcpoll) March 16, 2020
World Health Organization: Let's name the virus COVID-19 and avoid any ethnic adjectives that might encourage racial hatred.
Trump, who always pushes racial hate: "The Chinese Virus" https://t.co/FF88LAJE4J
— Simran Jeet Singh (@SikhProf) March 17, 2020
ITS NOT A CHINESE VIRUS YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE. YOU’RE THE PRESIDENT OF AMERICA AND ALL YOU SPREAD IS HATE. AND YOU WANT TO DO IT WHEN THE COUNTRY IS A FUCKING MESS? GET IT TOGETHER YOU ASSHOLE OR EAT A FUCKING DICK! DAMN. https://t.co/ktUirdmR3W
— lil baguette the mob boss’ wife (@thatgamerizzy) March 17, 2020
why the fuck is "chinese virus" trending can y'all sit the fuck down and not be racist for one ONE goddamn second pic.twitter.com/UFD3PDbIfQ
— ashton 8 (@iofbvhs) March 17, 2020