Bill Maher, the host of HBO’s political talk show “Real Time with Bill Maher,” defended why Americans should be allowed to call the COVID-19 pandemic “Chinese Virus.”
In his latest “New Rule” segment on April 10, the 64-year-old political commentator focused on why Americans should be able to use the “Chinese Virus” instead of the official name given by the World Health Organization (WHO), according to Daily Beast.
“Scientists, who are generally pretty liberal, have been naming diseases after the places they came from for a very long time,” Maher said in his segment. “Zika is from the Zika Forest. Ebola is from the Ebola River. Hantavirus? The Hantan River. There’s the West Nile Virus, and Guinea Worm, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and of course the Spanish Flu.”
“So why should China get a pass?” he continued. “Congressman Ted Lieu tweeted, ‘The virus is not constrained by country or race. Be just as stupid to call it the Milan Virus.’ No, that would be way stupider because it did not come from Milan, and if it did, I guarantee it would be called the ‘Milan Virus.’ Jesus f***in’ Christ, can’t we even have a pandemic without getting offended?”
He also added this is a life and death situation and not about vilifying a culture.
“Seriously, it scares me that there are people out there who would rather die by the virus than call it by the wrong name,” he said. “This isn’t about vilifying a culture; this is about facts. This is about life and death.”
Maher, however, also said, “This has nothing to do with Asian Americans. It has everything to do with China.”
He voiced his concerns about the reopening wet markets where the virus may have come from.
In his segment, Maher also mentioned the “PC police” saying, “The PC Police say it’s racist to attack any cultural practice that’s different than our own. I say liberalism lost its way when it started thinking like that.”
Maher references a 2007 article from researchers from The University of Hong Kong, and an excerpt from it stated, “The presence of a large reservoir of SARS-CoV-like viruses in horseshoe bats, together with the culture of eating exotic mammals in southern China, is a timebomb. The possibility of the reemergence of SARS and other novel viruses from animals or laboratories and therefore the need for preparedness should not be ignored.”
And citing U.S. Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Fauci, and acting executive secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, for calling to ban what Maher called, the “farmer’s market from Hell.”
“So when someone says ‘What if people hear Chinese Virus and blames China?’ The answer is ‘We should blame China,'” Maher continued. “Not Chinese Americans. But we can’t stop telling the truth because racists get the wrong idea. There are always going to be idiots out there who indulge their own prejudices.”
The HBO host called for China [its government] to crack down on the consumption and sale of exotic wet market products, as it is the country’s responsibility to prevent the spread of future infectious diseases because the rest of the world depends on it.
However, he also noted skepticism on if Americans would be able to do the same, ending with, “I hope that if someone told Americans that eating hot pockets could cause a worldwide pandemic, that we would have the good sense to stop doing it. Although I wouldn’t bet on it.”
Feature Image Screenshot via Real Time with Bill Maher