On Tuesday, US president Donald Trump controversially labeled the coronavirus as the ‘Chinese Virus’ in a tweet, triggering another backlash as the two nations continue to clash over the origin of the virus outbreak. Instead of calling the disease by its designated name –COVID-19, Trump’s tweet seems to be putting the entire blame on China, as the world struggles to deal with the pandemic. Also Read - US President Donald Trump Tests Negative For Coronavirus, White House Issues Statement
His tweet reads as,”The United States will be powerfully supporting those industries, like Airlines and others, that are particularly affected by the Chinese Virus. We will be stronger than ever before!” Also Read - Coronavirus National Emergency in US: Donald Trump Likely to be Tested Soon
Trump’s labelling of the virus as such stems from the fact that it was first reported in Wuhan, China, in Dec. 2019, however, it has now spread to various other countries worldwide. But despite that fact, World Health Organization does not attach geographic names to diseases or ‘terms that incite undue fear’.
The US President’s tweet was vehemently criticized, with people accusing him of turning to ‘racism’ in a time of crisis.
Many officials, slammed the usage of the phrase as inaccurate and potentially harmful in promoting racist associations between the virus and those from China, as per NBC News.
According to Yale’s Marietta Vazquez, “This behavior, and the stigma associated with referring to an illness in a way that deliberately creates unconscious (or conscious) bias, can keep people from getting care they may desperately need to get better and prevent others from getting sick.”
Chinese officials, on the other hand are also promoting a conspiracy theory that the U.S. army brought the coronavirus to China.
Meanwhile, 3,500 confirmed cases of the illness were reported in the US as of Monday night.