HIV/AIDS activists obliterate Donald Trump for referring to coronavirus as the ‘China virus’
AIDS activist group Act Up NY has called out US president Donald Trump for repeatedly calling COVID-19 the “China virus”.
Trump has been repeatedly using the terms “Chinese virus” and “China virus” to describe the coronavirus, prompting many to accuse him of promoting racism against Asian communities during the pandemic.
On March 18, Trump posted on Twitter: “I always treated the Chinese virus very seriously, and have done a very good job from the beginning, including my very early decision to close the ‘borders’ from China – against the wishes of almost all.
“Many lives were saved. The Fake News new narrative is disgraceful and false!”
AIDS activism group Act Up NY responded: “We remember a time when HIV/AIDS was called ‘gay-related immune deficiency’ aka GRID and ‘gay cancer’.
“NEVER AGAIN will we let world leaders transfer blame to communities. Trust science over discrimination always.”
We remember a time when HIV/AIDS was called “gay-related immune deficiency” aka GRID and “gay cancer”. NEVER AGAIN will we let world leaders transfer blame to communities. Trust science over discrimination always. https://t.co/LNiL7YFg22
— ACT UP NY (@actupny) March 18, 2020
Trump was asked yesterday at a press conference why he continues to call coronavirus the “China virus” after many have described the term as racist.
The reporter asking the question said: “Why do you keep calling this the Chinese virus? There are reports of dozens of incidents of bias against Chinese Americans in this country.
“Your own aide, secretary Azar, says he does not use this term. He says ethnicity does not cause the virus. Why do you keep using this? A lot of people say it’s racist.”
Trump responded: “‘Cause 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.”
She continued to press him while he attempted to interrupt her, but he eventually said: “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.”
"Why do you keep using this [term]?"
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) March 19, 2020
A photo was even taken by a Washington Post photographer showing that in the US president’s briefing notes, he had crossed out “corona” and replaced it with the word “Chinese”.
Dr Mike Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organization health emergencies program, told CNN: “Viruses know no borders and they don’t care about your ethnicity or the colour of your skin or how much money you have in the bank. It’s really important that we be careful in the language we use.”
He added that this is “a time for solidarity. This is a time for facts. This is a time to move forward together.”