Facing widespread criticism for his administration's handling of the COVID-19 crisis, President Donald Trump is turning to racism in an effort to shirk responsibility for what many see as a failure of the White House to curb the spread of the pandemic, which now has thousands of confirmed cases in the United States.
Trump referred to the virus—which emerged from Wuhan, China—as the "Chinese Virus," rather than by its scientific name, COVID-19, or its less specific colloquial name, coronavirus.
He used the term in a tweet on Monday.
The United States will be powerfully supporting those industries, like Airlines and others, that are particularly a… https://t.co/D7qJthFJYH— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1584399114.0
It wasn't long before the Chinese government called out the President's bigotry, with Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang saying:
"Some politicians in the U.S. associated the coronavirus with China, and smeared China. China expresses its strong anger and opposition to that. We call on the U.S. to stop finger pointing at China. The utmost priority is for the international community to cooperate on fighting the virus."
There are now more cases outside of China than inside, and Wuhan—the pandemic's epicenter—recently closed its last temporary hospital, due to a lack of new cases.
Meanwhile, the United States is facing the risk of severely undercounting cases due to a lack of available testing kits.
That didn't stop the President from, once again, calling COVID-19 the Chinese Virus in a tweet chastising New York governor Andrew Cuomo, only one day after the Chinese government condemned it.
Cuomo wants “all states to be treated the same.” But all states aren’t the same. Some are being hit hard by the Chi… https://t.co/B3oXcY48Np— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1584447731.0
This time, it was his own citizens pointing out his racism.
Let me be clear: Calling #COVID19 the "Chinese Virus" is incredibly racist. Ignorant tweets will only lead to hate… https://t.co/u5aCUqR15A— Mark Takano (@Mark Takano) 1584453237.0
The president who has catastrophically fumbled his response to a generation-defining public health crisis is needle… https://t.co/r5W9hLDZOK— Robert Maguire (@Robert Maguire) 1584451798.0
"Chinese virus." Would be nice if we had a president who was interested in solving this problem instead of blowing… https://t.co/RdxGQ8kTEy— Ben Volin (@Ben Volin) 1584448158.0
Must be said loud & clear, #COVID19 has no nationality. Labeling the virus as Asian is wrong and dangerous. It give… https://t.co/BxtEORLdWC— Joseph A. Curtatone (@Joseph A. Curtatone) 1584452090.0
Asian Americans across the United States have already faced hatred and violence due to fearmongering about the virus, propelled by similar bigotry as the kind Trump has amplified with tweets like this one.
In addition to the blatant bigotry in his tweets, people pointed out flaws in the President's logic regarding cases of COVID-19 in West Virginia as opposed to New York.
New York has tested 7000+ people. West Virginia has only tested 84. He's still spinning the catastrophic testing fa… https://t.co/NdPMxv2qTr— Tommy Vietor (@Tommy Vietor) 1584451906.0
The population of West Virginia: 1.806 million The population of BROOKLYN ALONE: 2.6 Million New York City literall… https://t.co/Dwg9l40Imf— Wayward Son (@Wayward Son) 1584457590.0
Here's the weird thing about detecting cases: if you don't test, you don't detect. And West Virginia hasn't been te… https://t.co/ZDUeK0TfJb— *you're (@*you're) 1584448164.0
Some expect a massive uptick in cases that will shine a new light on this tweet in a short matter of time.
this tweet will not age well. https://t.co/q1SYrrNzS9— Glenn Kessler (@Glenn Kessler) 1584455943.0
Save this tweet for use in about two weeks. https://t.co/ASHHyN27gA— Tami Burages (@Tami Burages) 1584455654.0
Officials are urging Americans to practice social distancing—not going out unnecessarily and working to maintain a distance of six feet from others.
And, of course, washing your hands goes a long way.