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Democratic senator asks Pompeo to stop saying 'Wuhan virus'

Democratic senator asks Pompeo to stop saying 'Wuhan virus'
© Aaron Schwartz

Sen. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinHouse panel advances bipartisan retirement savings bill Senate passes bipartisan B water infrastructure bill Senate Democrats push Biden over raising refugee cap MORE (D-Md.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is calling on Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoPompeo on CIA recruitment: We can't risk national security to appease 'liberal, woke agenda' DNC gathers opposition research on over 20 potential GOP presidential candidates Dozens of scientists call for deeper investigation into origins of COVID-19, including the lab theory MORE and other State Department officials to stop using the term “Wuhan virus” or “Chinese virus” to refer to COVID-19.

“I am obliged to point out that referring to this global pandemic by anything other than its appropriate, medical names is unhelpful at best, and at worst risks inflaming stereotypes, fear, and xenophobia in the face of a health crisis,” Cardin wrote in a Tuesday letter.

Cardin noted his dual role as the special representative on anti-Semitism, racism and intolerance for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

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“The identification of disease with national origin, ethnic group, or religion took on a more sinister character as one of a number of rationalizations for displacement, ethnic cleansing, and even genocide,” he wrote.

Cardin noted that Nazi propaganda films collected at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum blamed Polish Jews for the spread of typhus.

He also pointed to a photo captured by a Washington Post reporter last week that showed the phrase “Corona Virus” was edited to say “Chinese Virus” in the notes for public remarks from President TrumpDonald TrumpDemocrats, activists blast reported Trump DOJ effort to get journalists' phone records Arizona secretary of state gets security detail over death threats surrounding election audit Trump admin got phone records of WaPo reporters covering Russia probe: report MORE.

“The tone you and your senior staff set for the men and women of the State Department is crucial; U.S. diplomatic credibility abroad must not be compromised by the irresponsible use of the term ‘Wuhan virus,’” Cardin admonished Pompeo.

He asked the secretary to be “mindful” and use “only the recognized names for COVID-19 an the virus that causes the disease: SARS-CoV-2.”