Celebrities, Politicians Blast Trump for Fueling Racism and Xenophobia By Calling It ‘Chinese Virus’
By Bryan Ke
March 20, 2020
Celebrities and politicians are calling out Donald Trump for using the term “Chinese Virus” instead of the World Health Organization-approved COVID-19.
In New York City, local politicians criticized Trump for repeatedly labeling COVID-19 as the “Chinese Virus” during his official press briefings, according to Flushingpost.
Council Member Peter Koo urged politicians and members of the media to use the terminology that WHO has approved for the 2019 novel coronavirus: COVID-19.
“Not only does trying to normalize the term ‘Chinese coronavirus’ recklessly go against their official definition of the virus, but it inflames racial tensions,” he said. “This is not a virus that affects one country or one group of people. Coronavirus is worldwide. We must fight it as one.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio condemned Trump’s use of the term and for fueling more bigotry through his Twitter post on Monday.
“If you’re looking for someone to pin this crisis on, try the guy who made up a phony Google website or promised testing kits that he STILL hasn’t delivered,” de Blaiso wrote. “Our Asian-American communities — people YOU serve — are already suffering. They don’t need you fueling more bigotry.”
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Trump defended his use of the phrase “Chinese Virus” by arguing that the virus came from China, CNN reported.
“It’s not racist at all, no, not at all,” he said. “It comes from China, that’s why. I want to be accurate.”
However, acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee finds the president’s argument to be extremely problematic.
“It emboldens the discrimination, harassment and targeting of many Americans. Calling it a ‘Chinese virus’ instead of the accurate term ‘COVID-19’ inflames racism, empowers xenophobia, and resurrects ‘yellow peril’ perceptions that endanger Americans, including American citizens like myself,” she said.
Presidential candidates Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders have also called out Trump, NBC News reported.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth Warren described Trump’s use of the phrase “Chinese Virus” as “un-American.”
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo reminded everyone that “Coronavirus is NO excuse for racism” in his tweet on March 11.
The same sentiment was echoed by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy in his tweet.
California Governor Gavin Newsom, who issued “a statewide, mandatory STAY AT HOME order” on Thursday night, also called out the racist sentiment at the end of his conference.
“One thing I also want to express is deep recognition of the xenophobia, the racism that is being perpetuated against Asian in our state,” Newsom said. “We have seen a huge increase in people that are assaulting people on the basis of how they were born, the way the look. And I just want folks to know we are better than that, we are watching that, we’re going to begin enforcing that more aggressively. I just hope people put down their bigotry, their bias.
Athletes like Jeremy Lin ripped into Trump on Twitter for “empowering” racism towards Asians.
Celebrities are also putting Trump on blast.
“To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” star Lana Condor took to her Instagram Stories to address the president directly, according to BuzzFeed.
“You have no idea the ramifications your racist words and actions have on the Asian American community,” the 22-year-old actress said. “You simply cannot even fathom the danger you are putting our country in.”
“You call yourself a leader? You know what leaders do? They LEAD by setting examples and ACTION. Something we’ve yet to see you do.”
“Please. Be better,” Condor added. “So we aren’t afraid to leave our house for fear someone will verbally or physically abuse us because of your xenophobia.”
“The Good Doctor” and “Hawaii Five-0” star Daniel Dae Kim, who was recently tested positive for COVID-19, also voiced his opinion on the current situation in the U.S.
“Yes, I’m Asian. And yes, I have coronavirus, but I did not get it from China. I got it in America — in New York City,” the Korean American actor said. “Despite what certain political leaders want to call it, I don’t consider the place where it’s from as important as the people who are sick and dying.”
Here are what other celebrities are saying about Trump’s use of the term.
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