The ‘Chinese virus’
President Donald Trump is no stranger to triggering public upsets. In light of the recent COVID-19 outbreak, there has been swift discussion over the seriousness he is taking regarding the situation.
The US president sent out a tweet on the 16th of March, referring to the coronavirus as the “Chinese virus”.
During his daily Coronavirus taskforce briefing, he again said the same thing: “I’d like to begin by announcing some important developments in our war against the Chinese virus”. When questioned about his use of wording, he dismissed racist accusations, stating that “it is not racist” and justifies his wording with “it (coronavirus) comes from China, I want to be accurate.”
Trump further attempts to justify himself through claims the China blamed the creation and spread of the virus upon American soldiers. Therefore, is constant use of the phrase is based off of a blame game between the US and Chinese government.
China’s official news agency, Xinhua, has said that president Trump’s language was “racist and xenophobic.” Due to Trump’s history of accused racist remarks, the constant usage of ‘Chinese virus’ is more likely to be to be taken as malicious.
There have been numerous reports of racially motivated attacks occurring within the US and UK, which recurring targeting of those from China and other East-Asian countries. All despite reassurance via the media that ethnicity has no effect on an individuals’s carrying of the virus.
The World Health Organisation has advised against any statements making link between China and the coronavirus. They also believe that further misuse will result in increased violence and discriminatory attacks if not corrected. The severity of the situation is simply too great for such inconsideration.