“Chinese Virus” has racist agenda


Hankyeol Yang

Trump Cartoon

Clare McMillan, Former Editor in Chief

In recent press conferences concerning COVID-19, Donald Trump has used the term “Chinese Virus” when describing the coronavirus. Many reporters were quick to call him out on this misnomer and said that calling it such was, in fact, racist. 

Trump responded by claiming it was not racist given that the virus does come from China. While this may be true, there are quite a few reasons why this name is a tool that propagates a racist agenda.

With such a rapid and deadly virus affecting the lives of everyone around the world, people are quick to blame China for their inconveniences and losses. 

Asian-Americans have reported being insulted and abused all over America. Whether through online posts, public humiliation, or even physical violence, this minority group has recently faced a lot of challenges due to their identity.

Research has shown that there were over 1,000 cases of racism and xenophobic against Asian Americans between Jan. 28 and Feb. 24, which was the time period when the first coronavirus cases were being reported. 

Meanwhile, Chinese restaurants and businesses have seen a noticeable decline in their customers and consequently, their sales, some as much as 40-80 percent. 

Notice how I said Asian-Americans, not just Chinese. The group itself has been lumped together and marked as hazardous. With the way our society is today, people are very quick to categorize and judge with unfair reasoning.

Trump has even stated he will no longer be using the term given its effect on others. Although he claimed his intention was not to pit America against an entire ethnic group, several have begun to interpret it as such.

It’s safer for all involved to not use such a term and follow a list of best practices that the World Health Organization released in 2015 when it comes to naming viruses, which is as follows:

A virus’s name may include descriptive terms such as time course, age group, severity, environment, and year of detection. However, using people’s names, species, geographic location, culture/population, or words that incite fear should not be allowed.