The New Millennia

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Is it racist to refer to COVID-19 as the "Chinese virus?"

The use of the name "Chinese Virus" leads to racism against Asians

By: Winter Davis

Should we call the new coronavirus “The Chinese Virus” or COVID-19? Though the virus started in China, that doesn't make it “The Chinese Virus” it is disrespectful and racist. The virus was discovered in Wuhan, China back in December of 2019. Meaning yes it was discovered in China so it is a virus from China. However that does not make it “The Chinese Virus” just like how the flu pandemic of 1918 was called the Spanish flu as Americans believed Spain used a bio weapon on them, but in other countries they gave it different names of different countries they were not allies with. But the flu pandemic became our yearly flu virus we see today. The W.H.O. (World Health Organization) has named the new virus COVID-19 it was named as it was a coronavirus that was discovered in 2019. It is also known as SARS-2 virus as it is closely related to the SARS. Thanks to scientists and drs from all over the world we now know how the first people contracted the virus they ate bats a common delicacy of China. Now bats can spread a variety of viruses such as ebola, rabies, and many others. Now why is it bad to call it “The Chinese Virus”? Well mainly because it doesn’t infect just one race of people. The president has been calling it this due to his inability to seek a deal with China. That and the president has been known to be racist many times before. He deported people who are here legally, some of whom are from China. He says things such as go back to your own country. Now combine that with people who are so racist, they scream at someone for speaking anything other than English. People are using the virus as an excuse to be racist to people who have never even stepped foot in China. This virus should not or ever should have been an excuse for this. Recently a photo has surfaced showing President Trump crossing out COVID-19 and instead of writing “Chinese virus” instead. Due to this hate crimes and racism has been targeted at Asian citizens, we must call it COVID-19 and not “The Chinese Virus.”

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“‘Chinese Virus’ isn’t Racist, it’s Good Foreign Policy”

By: Ruskin Bell

Recently there has been a divide within media and culture regarding the name of the most recent pandemic, COVID-19. COVID-19 is a SARS/Flu-like virus that attacks the lungs, causing shortness of breath, fevers, and in severe cases Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. The World Health Organization declared it a pandemic on March 11th, 2020 and it has since been the topic of countless national discussions, bringing it to the spotlight of American hyper-partisanship. It has been called many names, from basic “ Wuhan Coronavirus” to the more comical “Kung Flu” or “Lung Pao Sicken”. No title, however, has been the focus of more scrutiny than Trump’s use of the term “Chinese Virus” to refer to this new threat. As a result, there is now a national debate centering around whether calling COVID-19 the “Chinese Virus,” is racist, and frankly, it’s not. “Racist” (As an adjective) is defined as “showing or feeling discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or believing that a particular race is superior to another”. Immediately we see that this definition doesn’t fit; Trump never said anything regarding the populace of China. Another popular theory is that Trump says this to incite violence and racism against Asians and Asian-Americans, which has no founding within his actions. When confronted at a White House press briefing about his use of the term, President Trump responded by saying “...It comes from China. It's not racist at all, no, not at all. It comes from China, that's why. I want to be accurate,” a reasonable statement which specifically outlines that his repeated use of the term is to refer to COVID-19’s country of origin and to remind the American people of the negligence of the Chinese government regarding this pathogen. He has never once said that people of Asian heritage have anything to do with the Coronavirus, nor should they be treated differently, but simply that the Chinese government should be held responsible. China has made multiple attempts to stifle coverage of COVID-19, especially before it was known to the outside world. According to Axios and The Guardian, on December 30, Dr. Li Wenliang reported cases of the virus to the Chinese social app WeChat and was reprimanded by Wuhan authorities and was called in for questioning. He was instructed to keep quiet regarding this new virus. In early January he tested positive for COVID-19 and later died of it. On January 1, an official at Hubei Provincial Health commission instructed labs researching the virus to destroy samples and to cease testing on current samples. The CCP’s newspaper People’s Daily did not publish anything about COVID-19 until January 21, a week after the World Health Organization noted its existence. China acted disingenuously and endangered countless lives by hiding evidence of this virus until the last minute. Trump’s repeated use of the term has nothing to do with the Chinese people but is simply a reminder to the Chinese Government and the American people that China knowingly allowed this threat to grow.

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