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Local Leaders Blast Trump for Referring to COVID-19 as the China Virus

Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee and Council Member Peter Koo (wiki)

March 19, 2020 By Michael Dorgan

A number of local leaders have condemned U.S. President Donald Trump and some media pundits–such as Tucker Carlson– for labeling the coronavirus the “China virus.”

They argue that the use of the term is racist and inflaming discriminatory attacks against New York’s Asian population.

Trump has repeatedly used the phrase when referring to the virus and claims that he is using the term because China tried to blame the virus on the US.

“It’s not racist at all, no, not at all. It comes from China, that’s why. I want to be accurate,” Trump said when pressed by reporters yesterday.

However, several New York City politicians don’t buy his argument and claim its divisive.

Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee – the first borough president of Asian descent in the City of New York – said that the use of the term is 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 added.

Council Member Peter Koo appealed for politicians and the media to go by the WHO’s official name for coronavirus disease – “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,” Koo said.

“This is not a virus that affects one country or one group of people. Coronavirus is worldwide. We must fight it as one,” he added.

Mayor Bill de Blasio also condemned Trump’s use of the term, saying on Twitter Monday that it fuels bigotry.

(Wikipedia: MTA CC BY 2.0)

There has been an uptick in the number of attacks on Asians this month.

For instance, on March 12, an alleged bigot assaulted a man who was with his 10-year-old son in an apparent hate crime on Queens Boulevard.

“You f–king Chinese,” he reportedly shouted to the man. “Where’s your f–king mask” he said.

On March 11, a 59-year-old Asian man was kicked in the back — which knocked him to the ground– by a teenager in Manhattan. The suspect allegedly told him to go back to his country and mentioned the coronavirus.

The virus, now rapidly spreading across the world, was first identified in the city of Wuhan, China in December 2019, a city with a population greater than New York City. There are now 2,469 cases in New York City, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced this morning.

The virus was recognized as a pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11.

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37 Comments

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Trump: out of Touch with Reality 😫

It’s Grossly Irresponsible and Socially Unethical to change the Scientific Name of the Novel Covid-19 to the “Chinese Virus”????
The Problem with calling this Pandemic Killer Virus “Chinese” is that the “Crazies” are Attacking all Asians, Not even Knowing if they’re Chinese or Not??? Besides the Chinese Americans living & Working in the United States – Did Not, Did Not – start the Virus in this Country! How Ignorant & Stupid are some people to Attack Asians in this Country!!
But leave it up to Insane Trump to Continue to Divide the American People with his Hatred! 🤢
We can and must do Better than this! Shame on those who continue to Follow Trump’s Divisive Rhetoric🤮
WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER!!!😇😇

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Eamonn

A farcical exercise in trying to spin a non-issue as controversy by political hacks. We still refer to the Spanish Flu of 1920 by that name and without controversy and no one raises such an idiotic line of thought!? Oh and in that case it didn’t even arise in Spain just first reported it there as they didn’t censor their press in WWI. I wouldn’t even care but to do so during in a national health crises is both outrageous and a disingenuous needless distraction. Never mind it plays into Chinese state propaganda.

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Suckerfree

You do have a very good point that the virus should be named the Wuhan virus but Trump and anti-Chinese propagandists such as Steve Brannon is fixated in pushing his agenda to demonize China as the existential threat and not Russia. We should always separate the government’s action and what the populace. Wuhan citizens, doctors, nurses, all suffered during the brutal lockdown.

As Americans, we’ve done awful things in Latin America by propping up dictators and training death squads, and so on. I don’t want people to hate the American populace though in a democracy, we should protest inhumane policies. We can’t claim moral authority or claim American Exceptionalism until we earn it through our actions.

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Ellen C

Nice Diversion Trumpers, an attempt to change the focus of the discussion of ventilator shortages and other hospital equipment and staff shortages and the overwhelming of our hospital system, to a fabricated smoke screen. Shame on you. There is a special place in hell for people like you.

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#dumpdeblasio

Dear target of Macs affections: There are other reasons other then racism people find offensive. I found Macs objections to your posts. “ mindless bot. 3- Your cult like devotion to the propaganda wing of Fox Entertainment is warped. But that is the power of effective brainwashing. Enjoy.“ haha

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Larry Penner

Identifying the Corona Virus as the Wuhan Virus is not racist or xenophobic. Many previous world wide endemics were identified by their geographic place of origin. Remember MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome), Sars (Severe respiratory syndrome) and West Nile virus? The evidence points to China experiencing the first case of Corona Virus in the Wuhan province in November 2019. Why did they wait until January 20th before local officials confirmed that this virus spread human-to-human? Even worse, the World Health Organization declared on January 15th, 2020 “there is no clear evidence of sustained human-to-human transmissions and there are no infections reported among health care workers.” These statements delayed the start of critical efforts of many other nations as the serious of the situation was kept hidden from the world. If China had contained and quarantined just three weeks earlier its outbreak could have been been significantly reduced, perhaps by up to 95%. The World Health Organization’s benign naming of the disease “corona virus”, which indicates the spiked-like nature of the proteins which form a corona (a crown in Latin), instead of the more appropriate name SARS-Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, may have been deliberately done to de stigmatize blame from China. This trivial title led many to believe this affliction was no more severe than a cold or mild flu, hiding its deadly respiratory effects. Worse, China was critical of the United States, Australia and Singapore in February 2020 for cutting off travel for non-residents from mainland China by saying they had flouted World Health Organization recommendations and were “sowing panic” among the public. China owes financial reimbursement to other nations for the deaths and monetary costs incurred due to their obvious negligence. Let the International World Court decide China’s fate when this crises is over as to financial penalties owed.

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holy Mac attack

If you weren’t implying it was racist then why is the comment problematic?..Statements of fact are not problematic…I don’t watch FOX news…I was commenting like everyone else on this thread in response to 2 do nothing Queens politicians who decided to play the race card in a time of crisis and echo the Communist Chinese governments talking points….that is just common sense…the Communist thug regime in China was trying to blame our soldiers and our country for the outbreak…I was trying to show our President and our country some support in a time of crisis unlike yourself….if you don’t agree with somebody point out where they are wrong instead of babbling about FOX news…God Bless America

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#dumpdeblasio

William – Trump renamed the Trump Corona Virus in March of 2020. In 2019 he was still calling it the Corona Virus. Just checkout Trumps CPAC speech to confirm.

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Tree of Liberty

Please don’t fault Mac…to much MSG in his body. He gets a little hyper when you refer anything with Chinese. It all started when he was eating pork fried rice watching Hanity on Fox one night.

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William

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Trump is totally right.
C = Chinese
O = Originated
V = Virus
I = In
D = December
19 = 2019

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Mac

Answers- 1-The words racist or racism don’t appear in any of my posts. 2- It’s obvious you saw a silly OAN reporter perform a scripted scene with the president messaging out to their followers on Fox Entertainment, defending Trumps renaming the COVID-19. Before the clip is finished you’re here posting those very talking points like a mindless bot. 3- Your cult like devotion to the propaganda wing of Fox Entertainment is warped. But that is the power of effective brainwashing. Enjoy.

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3 Questions for "Mac"

1. Do you call food from China “Chinese food”?
2. If you do does it make you a racist?
3. If you have no logical response why do you the lazy thing and blame FOX news?…you have no legitimate argument…just admit it is not racist(maybe irresponsible considering the backlash against Asians by low IQ poverty class New Yorkers…but not racist)…Enjoy!

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OUR FUTURE IS AT STAKE

The fact that Trump is literally killing people every time he opens his mouth needs to be smokescreened, so morons are falling for his “it’s the Chinese!” story line and paying no attention to the failure of his administration. They are making money off of this– all of them– while the entire country falls apart. Where are the tests? the masks? Why are doctors so worried? WHat if they all walk off the job because of the lack of safety equipment? Why is Trump falling asleep in meetings? China is an authoritarian country but at least it is controlling the outbreak. Please stop falling for this typical racist baiting– people on both sides– please use your brains.

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Reggie

Call it Covid-19. Call it the Coronavirus. Call it the Wuhan virus.

The fact of the matter is that the government of The People’s Republic of China knew about what was going on and tried to cover it up. Now we’re not only trying to combat a pandemic, but we’re also engaged in a propoganda war with an authoritarian country.

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Mac

To the person posting as Chinese Food- It’s so obvious you sit and front of Fox Entertainment and wait for barking orders. You have never posted an original thought to this stream. We all saw the presidents staged press reporter question with that propagandist on TV . It was staged for you. Enjoy.

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Racism against Europeans

From the CDC website: “Rubella is a contagious disease caused by a virus. It is also called German measles, but it is caused by a different virus than measles…” I cant believe this racism against Europeans is allowed to be tolerated by our government agency responsible for fighting these diseases…just the other day a man who was upset about having to get an MMR shot for his kid kicked my dachshund while we were out for a walk 😠

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Chinese food

I didn’t realize that when i referred to food from China as “Chinese food” I was being racist…sorry my bad😪

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JM Maspeth

Everyone knows where it comes from. This is just the usual Trump appeal to the worst instincts of his base, amplified through the right wing media. Drive home that it originated in China every time he opens is mouth and ignore or forget the fact that he sat twiddling his thumbs, falsely downplaying the threat, lying and crying conspiracy for weeks before the release of the Imperial College modeling analysis finally scared him into reality (and lo and behold the right wing media machine immediately followed him in complete contradiction of their previous nonsense that “its just a cold” and a media/Democratic conspiracy to bring down Trump).

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Trump praised Chinese President Xi

Trump said President Xi was don’t a great job, and stood with China over America.

Now he’s making racist comments? Just today we saw a picture of his speech where he scratched out “Corona” and replaced it with “Chinese.”

Why did he praise the person he’s blaming? Oh right, he’s a huge bigot.

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Paddy o'doodle

Itll always be Chinese connection-
Like Chinese take out food, and Chinese laundry shirts ironed, and Chinese checkers.

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Sensible

I would accept, Wuhan Virus. Anything else like Kung Flu or Lung Fu would be distasteful.

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Arvin

Thank you President Trump for telling it like it is!.Sunnyside is proud of you! Queens is proud of its native son..Please remember people like AOC, JVB and Schumer don’t speak for all of us.

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Observer

We had Spanish Flu Hong Kong Flu Swine Flu so call it Wuhan Flu whatever. Getting upset at what its called should not be the focus of this crisis. People are dieing that’s the issue here political morons.

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David

Trump only started calling COVID-19 the Chinese flu. A month ago when he mockingly called it a hoax and made out with US flag it was the “Corona Virus”. When the DOW dropped to around 19K, Trump knew his crowning achievement was dead and will not recover to the levels even near its highs by Election Day. Trump lashed out and is using the Chinese like Nero used the Christians. While Nero fiddled Rome burned. So Nero blamed the Christians. While COVID-19 ravished the world, Trump danced with the flag and called the virus a hoax. So Trump will blame the Chinese.

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Ray Chu

what age are you living? It might be normal to name geo related disease centuries ago, just like you can shout out ‘dead Indian are good Indian’ and still got elected.
The current international consensus for naming disease is that it shall not be related to race, national origin, sex.
It prevents discrimination and will ultimately help everyone

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Mac

@Brutus Please do some research. While it’s unlikely that the “Spanish Flu” originated in Spain, scientists are still unsure of its source. France, China and Britain have all been suggested as the potential birthplace of the virus, as has the United States, where the first known case was reported at a military base in Kansas.

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Jim

Just because a group of ignorant, racist bigots is attacking Asian people that doesn’t absolve China of their guilt in all of this. Anyone with half a brain knows that Asian people walking around Queens have nothing to do with the outbreak of the coronavirus but the people in China do and this is not the first time that it’s happened.

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El loco

It is a Chinese virus! This is the ultimate in political correctness. The virus developed because of China’s backward culture of eating wild animals and using their body parts in medicine. It is a multi-billion dollar industry. Even the Chinese government is outlawing it. And it’s alright for Chinese government officials to make up lies that the American military introduced the virus. But liberals and China apologists won’t say anything. They have no trouble blaming Trump for everything.

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Ray Chu

It’s a very sad day for everyone living in this country. The leader of government rather risk a large of group of people for its political gain.
Last time we saw this kind of thing. It’s Nazi German and Soviet Union.
It should not happen in America.

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Brutus

They can be upset all they want! Calling it the Chinese Virus is the same as calling the last pandemic the Spanish Flu. You don’t even need to get over it, you can be upset till you die. You just cant try to silence free speech by being upset.

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It is like generalizing

And make all chinese culture culprit of any virus (covid, H1N1…), illegal poaching, extintion of diverse mammals…
Please don’t blame all Chinesse for bad sterotypes.

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