Trump blows xenophobic dogwhistle in latest attempt to do virus response damage control

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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.

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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.

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?

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Social media immediately gave him an earful for his racist dogwhistle:

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https://twitter.com/lindyli/status/1239704897924345857?s=20

 

Natalie Dickinson

Natalie is a staff writer for the Washington Press. She graduated from Oberlin College in 2010 and has been freelance blogging and writing for progressive outlets ever since.

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