According to the media, facts about the novel coronavirus are now racist. And according to so-called reporters and ranking Democrats, referring to the new disease as the “Chinese” or “Wuhan coronavirus” is bigoted.
After President Trump’s address to the nation from the oval office on March 11, CNN’s White House Correspondent Jim Acosta declared part of his speech to be “xenophobic.”
Speaking to CNN host Chris Cuomo, Acosta said, “I think we should point out, at one point during this address the president referred to the coronavirus as a ‘foreign virus.’ Now, why the president would go as far as to describe it as a foreign virus? That is something we’ll also be asking questions about,” Acosta said. “I think it is going to come across to a lot of Americans as smacking of xenophobia to use that kind of term in this speech.”
Yet, on January 23, Acosta also referred to the disease as a foreign virus. He wrote on Twitter, “CNN International: Authorities in Beijing have cancelled all large-scale Chinese New Year celebrations in an effort to contain the growing spread of Wuhan coronavirus.”
Why is referring to the coronavirus as a foreign disease only “xenophobic” when President Trump says it, and not when Jim Acosta does?
Additionally, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) tweeted a link to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) saying, “Everything you need to know about the Chinese coronavirus can be found on one regularly-updated website.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) found it deeply offensive.
“Bigoted statements which spread misinformation and blame Asians and the Asian American community for coronavirus make us all less safe,” Speaker Pelosi said. “McCarthy must delete this tweet and apologize immediately.”
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) was also outraged. “Viruses don’t have nationalities,” Rep. Omar said. “This is racist.”
Defending himself, Leader McCarthy tweeted in response, “Here we go again. Democrats are trying to score political points by calling Republicans racist. Coronavirus is a China-born disease – made worse by a Communist Party that rejected America’s help to contain it. Which is why Dems & media called it ‘Chinese coronavirus’ for weeks.”
Indeed, the Media Research Center has complied a two-minute video of 35 instances when media personalities referred to the coronavirus as a foreign virus. “A least six people have died from the Wuhan coronavirus,” CNN’s Alisyn Camerota begins in the compilation. “The Wuhan Coronavirus, the Wuhan Coronavirus,” the video shows reporters saying.
Of course, this controversy is silly and a waste of time. It’s not bigoted to refer to the coronavirus as a Chinese virus since it’s extremely common to name viruses according to their place of origin.
As reported in The Federalist, West Nile Virus, Lyme Disease, Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), Zika Virus and the Spanish Flu among others are all named according to where they originated.
If only journalists and politicians could put the pointless partisanship aside, Americans could better unify in the face of the coronavirus threat. One can wonder whether that is too much to ask for these days.
You can follow this author on Twitter @MettlerZachary