How annoyed are some liberals over the fact that President Donald Trump calls COVID-19 “the Chinese virus?”
Annoyed enough that “Chinese” has now become a bad word.
Take Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat recently late of the presidential contest.
Warren was angry over one of Trump’s tweets, because when is a liberal not?
The tweet had to do with Trump invoking the Defense Production Act on Wednesday, a Korean War-era piece of legislation which allows the federal government to direct production capacity in the case of an emergency.
According to CNN, the Federal Emergency Management Agency describes the act as “the primary source of presidential authorities to expedite and expand the supply of resources from the US industrial base to support military, energy, space and homeland security programs.”
The president insisted on Twitter that he had “only signed the Defense Production Act to combat the Chinese Virus should we need to invoke it in a worst case scenario in the future. Hopefully there will be no need, but we are all in this TOGETHER!”
I only signed the Defense Production Act to combat the Chinese Virus should we need to invoke it in a worst case scenario in the future. Hopefully there will be no need, but we are all in this TOGETHER!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 18, 2020
Warren was upset that Trump wasn’t directing the production of items like ventilators and face masks at the federal level already.
“President Trump, are your eyes stitched shut?” she tweeted Thursday.
“Hospitals need test kits, ventilators, & other medical supplies. That’s why the DPA exists. Stop dragging your feet & burying your head & start helping hospitals that are about to be slammed by this pandemic.”
That’s probably not what most people noticed about Warren’s tweet, however:
President Trump, are your eyes stitched shut? Hospitals need test kits, ventilators, & other medical supplies. That’s why the DPA exists. Stop dragging your feet & burying your head & start helping hospitals that are about to be slammed by this pandemic. pic.twitter.com/9bb4Bl05ob
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) March 19, 2020
She didn’t even mention it, either.
That’s expert-level passive-aggressiveness.
Anyway, now I’ve learned my lesson. I apologize to all of our C—ese readers who might have been offended by all of the times I didn’t obscure their demonym prior to this. I can and will do better.
Of course, Warren should also apologize to all of her C—-kee Twitter followers, too:
YOU SHOULD HAVE blurred out “Cherokee” in your fake claims about your ancestry
— VK2-Media Is CCP Propaganda (@2222vj) March 19, 2020
And everyone in Afr—:
If referring to a disease by its geographic point of origin is now racist, you best go back and blur out “Zika” and “Ebola” from your past tweets – both are places in Africa. pic.twitter.com/FbFW50AEe6
— Beyond My Wuhan ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 😷 (@OverpaidA) March 19, 2020
Of course, there are plenty of reasons why the virus is being called the “Chinese virus” by the president and those around him.
One is that the Chinese government simply doesn’t want to acknowledge that COVID-19 not only started there but that they bear some responsibility for it because of a response that was actively negligent and mendacious.
Last week, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian became the most senior Chinese official to parrot a conspiracy theory that the U.S. military was responsible for introducing the virus into Wuhan.
“When did patient zero begin in US?” he wrote. “How many people are infected? What are the names of the hospitals? It might be US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan. Be transparent! Make public your data! US owe us an explanation!”
2/2 CDC was caught on the spot. When did patient zero begin in US? How many people are infected? What are the names of the hospitals? It might be US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan. Be transparent! Make public your data! US owe us an explanation! pic.twitter.com/vYNZRFPWo3
— Lijian Zhao 赵立坚 (@zlj517) March 12, 2020
The Chinese ended up being the ones who owed the explanation when their ambassador was summoned for a dressing-down at the State Department. That said, Zhao Lijian remains an employed man, which means Beijing apparently doesn’t mind talk like this.
There was another legal reason for Trump’s decision to highlight the source of the virus floated by former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy in an Op-Ed for The Hill published Tuesday.
He wrote that the declaration of a national emergency under the Stafford Act required rather extraordinary circumstances.
“So, when is the invocation of emergency powers permissible? Congress has vested the president with this authority when a threat to the security and public health of any part of the United States is sufficiently grave to warrant a federal response,” McCarthy wrote.
“In our constitutional system, there are certain situations and categories of activity that automatically trigger federal authority. Most prominent among these are foreign relations, foreign incursions, border security, and matters related to foreign commerce, as well as commerce between the states — which, obviously, may be impacted by foreign commerce.
“Consequently, the origination of the virus in China and its transcontinental spread across the globe are highly relevant. They rationalize the president’s authority to address the emergency with Washington’s awesome resources.”
In other words, this isn’t just a matter of the president being a troll. It’s also not a matter of xenophobia.
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