Perspectives: Trump's Use of 'Chinese Virus'

Headline Roundup March 21st, 2020

There are starkly different perspectives, especially on either side of the political aisle, about President Donald Trump's recent use of the phrase "Chinese virus" to describe the COVID-19 coronavirus. Some on the left have said the phrase proves Trump is racist, and encourages prejudice and violence against Chinese-Americans; some on the right said the term or similar terms are necessary to combat apparent Chinese propaganda blaming the U.S. for the initial outbreak.

Perspectives: Trump's Use of 'Chinese Virus'

From the Right

Much outrage has materialized over President Trump’s use of the term “Chinese virus” to refer to the novel coronavirus pandemic affecting the United States and the world. Critics have condemned the president as “racist” and “xenophobic.”

Certainly, such allegations are not new for the president. Just as in the past, they reveal far more about the biases of the accusers than they do about Trump.

For the past three years, many of the critics calling Trump a racist have repeatedly condemned him of buddying up to authoritarian strongmen such as...

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From the Center

In the past few days, President Trump and some of his fellow conservatives have changed the way they refer to the virus that has caused nearly 10,000 deaths around the world. For more than two months, Trump used the word “coronavirus.” On Monday, he began calling it the “Chinese virus” on Twitter and in public briefings. Other GOP lawmakers and conservative media figures have pivoted their language as well, with some preferring “Wuhan virus,” referring to the area of China where the outbreak originated.

The change in word choice has...

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From the Left

From a high-resolution photograph of Donald Trump’s printed-out remarks for his Thursday press conference, we know two things: the first is that Trump’s speech was printed out for him in a huge font and protected by a plastic page protector. The second was that the visible page of the speech was unmarked except in one place: Where the word “Corona” in “Corona Virus” (two words) had been crossed out with a Sharpie and replaced with a word in distinctive penmanship printed in all caps: CHINESE.

It was clear Trump had...

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