A massive backlash against GOP Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy and Fox News host Tucker Carlson has broken out on Twitter after both men referred to COVID-19 as “Chinese coronavirus” in their individual tweets on Monday night.
The posts, which were only two hours apart, both urged the public to stay safe from the disease, which has now recorded
647 cases and 25 deaths in the U.S.
However, many questioned the rationale behind calling the disease “Chinese coronavirus” — especially since the World Health Organization (WHO) specifically renamed it to avoid reference to “a geographical location, an animal, an individual or group of people” last month.
McCarthy first tweeted on Monday with a link of information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“Everything you need to know about the Chinese coronavirus can be found on one, regularly-updated website,” wrote
the 55-year-old Republican House Minority Leader.
As of this writing, McCarthy’s tweet has drawn nearly 19,000 comments, with many from outraged users including Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY 6th District) and Cool Quit CEO Dr. Eugene Gu.
Less than two hours later, Carlson also used “Chinese coronavirus” in a tweet that linked to a segment of his show, in which he generously used the term and dismissed the idea of it being racist.
“We must remain calm but not complacent about the Chinese Coronavirus. We addressed it on tonight’s show. We hope you’ll watch if you missed it,”
the Fox News host tweeted
Carlson’s tweet has drawn more than 2,300 comments as of this writing.
Unsurprisingly, it attracted sentiments similar to those who slammed McCarthy.
Both the WHO and the CDC have rejected the use of “Chinese coronavirus” in reference to COVID-19.