‘Chinese Coronavirus’ Is Trending Because People are Assigning Race to a Virus
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: https://t.co/nGCCDVqcqe
“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.
Your words are so hurtful. We may be of different parties but people depend on all of us to be compassionate & effective leaders. Asian Americans – from kids to seniors are getting attacked bc of this exact type of rhetoric. Do better – please – i implore you. Lives are at stake.
Chinese people have already been portrayed as bat soup eating savages in countless memes. Now Republican lawmakers are making a concerted effort to label the coronavirus with an ethnicity and geographic origin, which the WHO specifically warned against when it named it Covid-19.
Carlson’s tweet has drawn more than 2,300 comments as of this writing.
Unsurprisingly, it attracted sentiments similar to those who slammed McCarthy.
When the coronavirus first emerged, many people including myself called it the Wuhan coronavirus to distinguish it from other coronaviruses. Then the WHO designated it COVID-19, and said it didn’t want to associate it with any geographic origin that could promote racism.
DON’T – attach locations or ethnicity to the disease, this is not a “Wuhan Virus”, “Chinese Virus” or “Asian Virus”.
The official name for the disease was deliberately chosen to avoid stigmatizationhttps://t.co/yShiCMfYF3pic.twitter.com/belHrq5HVo
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