“What's in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet,” wrote William Shakespeare. That was then. Calling the coronavirus the “China virus” or “Wuhan virus,” as some American conservatives are rightly doing, can attract charge of being—well, no prizes for guessing it correctly—‘racist.’
US President Donald Trump has rechristened Coronavirus as Chinavirus. “That attempted narrative shift is beyond question,” Chris Cillizza, CNN editor-at-large, wrote on March 20. “What appears to be up for some debate is whether or not Trump’s rhetorical change reflects him simply using proper geographic labeling—the coronavirus did emerge from the Wuhan province—or whether it is part of a broader attempt to drive xenophobic sentiment toward China and, by so doing, avoid taking the blame for his own administration’s struggles to deal with the virus.”
Notice Cillizza’s craving to defend China, which is matched only by his passion to slam Trump—his xenophobic sentiment. The charges against Trump are repeated mechanically in the article. He is accused of “weaponizing bigotry and stereotypes,” of racist tropes, of everything that is wrong in America or the world.
But Trump is correct: “It’s not racist at all, no, not at all. It comes from China, that’s why. I want to be accurate… I have great love for all of the people from our country, but as you know China tried to say at one point… that it was caused by American soldiers. That can’t happen, it’s not gonna happen, not as long as I’m president. It comes from China.”
It’s not just CNN journalists who are waging a jihad against Trump; the entire liberal establishment, in collaboration with the Left, is. Writing for the Left-leaning Atlantic (March 11) by Thomas Levenson, a professor of science writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, also slammed “racist tropes.”
Levenson was scathing at Representative Paul Gosar (Republican, from Arizona), who had used the term Wuhan virus while announcing that he was self-quarantining himself. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas also prefer to call it the Wuhan virus.
Left-liberals’ solicitude for the Chinese has assumed pathological proportions. It is indubitable that the novel coronavirus emerged in China, most probably in Wuhan’s wet animal market. It is a well-documented fact that the authorities tried to suppress the news of the outbreak; the doctors who raised the alarm were reprimanded and harassed; one of them himself got the disease and eventually succumbed to it.
<i>Nature</i>, a leading science magazine, reported on March 17, “Epidemiologists say China’s mammoth response had one glaring flaw: it started too late. In the initial weeks of the outbreak in December and January, Wuhan authorities were slow to report cases of the mysterious infection, which delayed measures to contain it, says Howard Markel, a public-health researcher at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. ‘The delay of China to act is probably responsible for this world event,’ says Markel.”
The magazine also reported about a model simulation by Lai Shengjie and Andrew Tatem, emerging-disease researchers at the University of Southampton, UK. It showed that “if China had implemented its control measures a week earlier, it could have prevented 67 per cent of all cases there. Implementing the measures three weeks earlier, from the beginning of January, would have cut the number of infections to 5 per cent of the total.”
It is an open-and-shut case against China, but you know what? It is blaming everybody else for the global pandemic. It has accused Peru’s Nobel literature laureate Mario Vargas Llosa for airing “irresponsible and prejudiced opinions” over the origins of COVID-19. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman has floated a conspiracy theory about the American military’s role in bringing the coronavirus to China. Some people of the Chinese media, which is government-controlled, have also been peddling lies and questioning the origin of the virus.
Left-liberals are serving China’s interests in America. They are so committed to China that they don’t want to associate it with the disease that has killed thousands all over the world and threatens to kill more. This is the reason they bristle at the use of the term Wuhan virus..