Trump Defends Use of “Chinese Virus” Label

Since the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States, President Trump has called the infectious disease the “Chinese Virus,” despite widespread criticism from Chinese and American audiences alike.

“It’s not racist at all,” President Trump says, explaining his rationale. “It comes from China, that’s why.”

President Trump further defended the “Chinese Virus” label and told reporters at the White House briefing on March 17, “I didn’t appreciate the fact that China was saying that our military gave it to them. I think saying that our military gave it to them creates a stigma.”

Creating a stigma of his own, President Trump has indicated that he views the coronavirus as a foreign threat in an effort to place blame on China for the spread of the virus. “America is under attack—not just by an invisible virus, but by the Chinese,” the Trump campaign wrote in a recent email.

While somewhat successfully deflecting blame for the spread of the coronavirus in the United States (a March 17-20 Morning Consult opinion poll finds that 73% of United States adults place blame on China for the spread of the coronavirus), President Trump’s rhetoric has also angered Chinese officials and spurred on acts of racism and xenophobia against Asian-Americans.

Read the full report here: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/18/us/politics/china-virus.html

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