When asked about it during a White House Coronavirus Task Force press briefing, Trump made clear he had absolutely no intentions of backing down from using the term.
I wrote last week about how both the national press and Democrats seemed to be working in concert to shame Republicans into dropping “Wuhan” and “Chinese” when talking about the Wuhan Coronavirus, suggesting it was “racist” and “stigmatizing” to reference from where the virus originated continually.
We are into week 2 of government pleas for people to observe “social distancing” for the foreseeable future to “flatten the curve” and keep our healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed. Some on the left and in the mainstream media continue to obsess over Republicans’ use of the name “Wuhan” or “Chinese” when discussing the virus.
The eruption that took place after President Trump used the term “Chinese Virus” in tweets this week provides clear and convincing evidence of their meltdown:
PBS White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor was among the first to clutch pearls:
Pres Trump changed his entire tone during today's WH briefing on coronavirus. He was somber. He said U.S. & world had no control over it. He said U.S. might see a recession.
Now, just 4 hrs later, he is back to leaning on cultural wars & calling coronavirus the "Chinese virus." https://t.co/LIvosx1oyH
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) March 16, 2020
CNN political analyst Josh Rogin:
“The Chinese Virus” https://t.co/Sm8wotuz6h
— Josh Rogin (@joshrogin) March 16, 2020
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio (who isn’t up to speed on the Google website thing or the testing updates):
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.
Our Asian-American communities — people YOU serve — are already suffering. They don’t need you fueling more bigotry. https://t.co/jjcO7treC2
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) March 17, 2020
WTHR investigative journalist Bob Segal:
Any journalist who would make up a name for COVID-19 and refer to it as “the Chinese Virus” would immediately be called out for xenophobia. Not sure why anyone would consider this statement from the president to be acceptable. It helps no one. Hurtful to many. https://t.co/4B2JkjMjUd
— Bob Segall (@BobSegallWTHR) March 17, 2020
Despite all the criticism from the usual corners, Trump made clear during a White House Coronavirus Task Force press briefing that he had no intentions of backing down from using the term – and for a good reason:
A reporter asked Trump during a Tuesday press briefing addressing the coronavirus outbreak about the criticism he has received about using the phrase “Chinese virus” to describe the coronavirus.
The president pushed back on the question, saying that “China was putting out information, which was false, that our military gave this to them.”
“That was false,” he said. “And rather than having an argument, I said I have to call it where it came from. It did come from China so I think it’s a very accurate term.”
A reporter asked a follow-up question about whether using the phrase “Chinese virus” creates a stigma.
“No, I don’t think so,” Trump responded. “I think saying that our military gave it to them creates a stigma.”
In this writer’s humble opinion, it shouldn’t be Trump, who gets questions about why he calls it the “Chinese virus.” The media are the ones who should be asked questions about why they suddenly object to it after routinely calling it the “Wuhan virus” and “Wuhan Coronavirus” in earlier reports:
Those in the media have been the ones calling it "the Wuhan virus/coronavirus" for weeks, so I guess they were being racist/bigoted this whole time. pic.twitter.com/ibogMw3rK0
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) March 9, 2020
Axios thinks it’s because journalists might be taking direction from the World Health Organization:
Why it matters: This is in opposition to guidance from the World Health Organization, which requested back in February that the epidemic be referred to as coronavirus or Covid-19, rather than terms that could stigmatize individuals with Chinese ancestry.
As the outbreak first entered the news cycle in mid-January, phrases such as “China Virus,” “Wuhan Virus,” “Chinese Coronavirus,” and “Wuhan Coronavirus” were used widely.
But when the World Health Organization introduced the terminology “COVID-19,” news outlets began to widely adopt it.
The WHO, however, is gaining a reputation for mostly being a mouthpiece for China:
Yet through all the CCP’s obfuscation and ensigning preventable deaths, the WHO consistently praised the CCP for its “transparency” and “leadership,” saying its actions were “making us safer.” To the incredulity of health professionals around the world when finally alerted to the seriousness of the threat in January, the WHO refused to declare it a public health emergency. It took until February 10 for the WHO to even send an advance party to China.
At the same time WHO representatives gushed in praise of the regime’s response, noting the “Chinese people feel protected.” The WHO continues to lavishly praise China as they continued to downplay the threat of the coronavirus, taking months to classify it finally as a pandemic because that “might spook the world further.”
So the question then becomes this: If WHO is acting as little more than a propaganda arm for the Chinese government, what does that make the mainstream media here in America for falling in step with their Wuhan Coronavirus reporting guidelines?
And how has China rewarded the MSM for observing the WHO’s suggestions for reporting on the virus? By kicking them out:
Correction of previous tweet: Beijing is expelling U.S. journalists with @nytimes, @WSJ, and @washingtonpost from the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, and Macao (*not* @VOANews and @TIME — see part about added disclosures though) https://t.co/2fJwe3uO4Z
— David Paulk 波大卫 (@davidpaulk) March 17, 2020
Even if Republicans, including Trump, had been reconsidering how to refer to the Wuhan Coronavirus, the moment China started planting the false seed that the U.S. military was behind the disease put that idea to rest.
As Trump indicated in the presser, he refers to it as the Chinese virus to refute claims from China that the U.S. military planted it in Wuhan. As he’s shown many times throughout his presidency, he’s not going to modify the way he speaks simply because of hurt feelings and ruffled feathers.
Nor should he. Not when it comes to this issue.
— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —DONATE
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