Trump calls COVID-19 the ‘Chinese Virus,’ sparking backlash

This article contains information from the Center for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC) For more information please visit their website.

Following a debate the week prior regarding the appropriateness of using the phrase ‘Chinese Virus’ given that it was taken by some to be ‘racist’ and ‘xenophobic,’ Trump used the controversial phrase on Monday evening which sparked a predictable backlash.

He said, “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.”

Appropriate names for the virus are generally COVID-19, coronavirus, Sars-Cov-2, and some use the term Wuhan Virus.

NBC News reported that Trump’s reference “comes days after CDC Director Robert Redfield agreed at a House hearing that it was “absolutely wrong and inappropriate” to use labels like “Chinese coronavirus,” as the virus had expanded beyond China to other parts of the world. The were roughly 3,500 confirmed cases of the illness in the U.S. as of Monday night.”

Trump’s tweet was also written after weeks of news reports that Asian Americans, especially Chinese-Americans, were facing assaults, harassment, and bullying. The hateful trend has been called the ‘yellow peril.’

In Los Angeles, a man reportedly said on public transportation that Chinese people are dirty and that “every disease… came from China.”

New York saw a wave of such incidents leading to Mayor Bill de Blasio to announce that people of Asian descent who experience a hate crime should report the incidences so they could be investigated and potentially prosecuted. The New York City Human Rights Commission is currently looking into five such incidences.

One of them included an assault by a teenager, who was later apprehended, against a 59-year-old person of Asian descent. The attacker yelled “F***ing Chinese Coronavirus.”

Another racist incident affected a woman of Asian descent in New York who was assaulted for apparently not wearing a mask. The woman who attacked the victim reportedly said “where is your corona mask, you Asian b****.”

These hate crimes have been fueled by panic and misinformation about the coronavirus.

Currently the CDC does not recommend that people wear masks unless they themselves have symptoms of the virus, are being tested for the virus, or were confirmed to have the virus.

“You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers,” the CDC said.

Stigma is discrimination against an identifiable group of people, a place, or a nationality.

“Stigma hurts everyone by creating more fear or anger towards ordinary people instead of the disease that is causing the problem,” the CDC said.

Any person, regardless of nationality or any sort of identifiable characteristic, can contract and transmit the virus to others who are closer than 6 ft in proximity to one another.

The coronavirus is largely considered to be mostly likely spread by respiratory droplets in the air. The droplets can be inhaled via mouths or noses and can possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

The best way to protect oneself from getting the virus is by limiting exposure to the outside world if one’s community is being affected by the virus.

“Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community,” the CDC said.

Moreover, what has become known as ‘social distancing’ can also help prevent people from getting it and trasmitting it to the most vulnerable populations, such as the elderly or people with medical conditions.

The concern over the vulnerable population who are the most at risk for hospitalizations and deadly outcomes caused a hashtag #DontBeASpreader to trend on twitter, where people posted pictures of their loved ones in the hope of raising awareness about steps that can help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Other steps that you can take to protect others is to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and also to wash your hands for 20 seconds or disinfect your hands immediately after coughing or sneezing. One should wash their hands regularly, at 20 second intervals every time, and especially after they have been outside their homes.

Moreover, the CDC recommends that surfaces that are commonly used should be cleaned and disinfected every day.

Below are Coronavirus symptoms. For more information and for the latest updates on the virus go to CDC.gov.