Public/Global Health

Trump: I don’t think using the phrase ‘Chinese virus’ creates a stigma

United Press International

President Trump said Tuesday that he doesn’t think using the phrase “Chinese virus” creates a stigma.

A reporter asked Trump during a Tuesday press briefing addressing the coronavirus outbreak about the criticism he has received about using the phrase “Chinese virus” to describe the coronavirus.

The president pushed back on the question, saying that “China was putting out information, which was false, that our military gave this to them.”

“That was false,” he said. “And rather than having an argument, I said I have to call it where it came from. It did come from China so I think it’s a very accurate term.” 

A reporter asked a follow-up question about whether using the phrase “Chinese virus” creates a stigma. 

“No, I don’t think so,” Trump responded. “I think saying that our military gave it to them creates a stigma.”

Trump was referring to a Chinese government spokesman promoting a conspiracy theory last week that the U.S. Army brought the coronavirus to the country.

Several other Republican leaders, including Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), have referred to the coronavirus as the “Wuhan virus” or the “Chinese coronavirus.”

Trump has also referred to the coronavirus as the “Chinese Virus” in past tweets.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has requested people stop calling the coronavirus the “Wuhan virus,” with WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus saying the use of the term is “painful to see” and “more dangerous than the virus itself.” 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield chimed in last week, calling it “wrong” to label the virus as the “Chinese coronavirus.”

Asian American leaders and representatives, including Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.), have called out Republican lawmakers for using the phrases in question, with Meng calling it “embarrassing, disrespectful, offensive, and downright disgusting.”

The leaders of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Native American Caucus and the Congressional Progressive Caucus have requested McCarthy and Gosar apologize.

Tags Coronavirus COVID-19 Donald Trump Grace Meng Kevin McCarthy Paul Gosar stigma Wuhan
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