Linking China with the virus that is now stirring panic around the world — regardless of the fact that it started there — is now being denounced as racist
Until recently, there was little doubt that the coronavirus responsible for school closings and the cancellations of reams of events first sickened people in Wuhan, China.
China said so, over and over.
But now, China is bristling when it is linked with what is increasingly being seen as a global calamity.
And so, too, are media figures who are repeating the Chinese Communist Party line.
Republican Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona used the phrase “Wuhan virus” in a tweet explaining that he was going into self-quarantine after being exposed to an individual with the virus.
Tweets from media figures supplied a prompt rap across the knuckles to anyone using a term they decided was racist:
Just astoundingly gross to call it the Wuhan Virus. https://t.co/cMrsA59xTH
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) March 9, 2020
— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) March 9, 2020
FYI: Calling #COVID19 the “Wuhan Virus” is racist.
— David Gura (@davidgura) March 9, 2020
In fact, China is taking the official line that it could be blameless.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, when asked during a recent briefing about a comment from a Fox News host who said China should apologize for the disease, said the remark revealed “total arrogance, prejudice and ignorance towards China.”
“There is simply no basis and no reason to push China for an apology. It is yet undetermined where the virus originated,” he added.
“Beijing’s official outlets, for example, have accused the United States of over-hyping the pandemic for cynical purposes, with a foreign ministry spokeswoman declaring that Washington had ‘taken the lead in imposing excessive restrictions.’ American actions, she said, ‘could only create and spread fear,'” Rubio wrote.
“Other regime and regime-friendly outlets went further. The Chinese military portal Xilu.com recently published an article baselessly claiming that the virus is ‘a biochemical weapon produced by the US to target China,'” Rubio added.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California also raised a ruckus by linking China to the virus in a tweet, something that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi decided required a rebuke.
Everything you need to know about the Chinese coronavirus can be found on one, regularly-updated website: https://t.co/nGCCDVqcqe
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) March 9, 2020
Bigoted statements which spread misinformation and blame Asians and the Asian American community for #coronavirus make us all less safe. @GOPLeader must delete this tweet and apologize immediately. pic.twitter.com/twzCcVAWDH
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) March 10, 2020
On Wednesday, during his address to the nation, President Donald Trump minced no words. The virus, he said, “started in China and is now spreading throughout the world.”
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