Is Trump being racist when he called Covid-19 the “Chinese” Virus?
The below is a quick rebuttal to the idea that Trump is a racist by calling Covid-19 a “Chinese Virus”.
The argument is that no medical affliction should be named after its geographical origins as that would unnecessarily stigmatize the country. In this respect, even if POTUS had called it the “Wuhan Virus” it would undoubtedly be considered “racist”.
I ain’t no medical or virologist student, but just a quick check at some major viruses and diseases today will show that the argument cannot be sustained. For example:
- O’nyong-nyong fever from Uganda — the word means “severe joint pain” in the language of the Acholi people of East Africa (yes I googled this haha)
- Junin virus — named after a city in north-central Argentina, where the virus was disocvered
- Oropouche virus — named after the region (in South America) where it was first discoverd, particularly near the Oropouche River in Trinidad and Tobago
- Marburg disease — first outbreak was in a research lab in Marburg, Germany
- LaCrosse encephalitis and St. Louis encephalitis — both named after the cities where they were first happened
- Lassa fever — first appeared in Nigeria in a town called, well, Lassa
- Lyme Disease — an infection caused by ticks which had already appeared for many decades in Germany, but only became common in the mid 1970s’ when there was an outbreak in Old Lyme, Connecticut
- Ebola — first identified in Yambuku, 111 kilometers from the Ebola River (I got this from Wiki)
What’s my point? It’s that there is clearly a pattern in which afflictions and epidemics are named after their place of origins. Now, if Trump is a racist for calling Covid-19 a “Chinese virus”, then there is no doubt that whoever gave the above afflictions their names are also racist.
One possible pushback is that, hey, Trump should’ve said “Wuhan Virus” instead of “Chinese Virus”. But isn’t this trivial? So naming EBola “Ebola” is not racist, but if we named it the “African virus” then it’s racist? Or are we saying it’s racist if we name a virus after a country, but NOT racist if we name it after a river or a town in that same country?
C’mon, folks. 45 isn’t the most pleasant dude in history, but let’s give it a break with the hyper-PC-induced accusations?