President Donald Trump has taken to calling the coronavirus, or COVID-19, the “China Virus” or “Chinese Virus” this week. The decision to do this seems xenophobic to many, but Trump claims he’s just trying to be “accurate.” He was asked by a reporter at a briefing on Wednesday why he’s calling it by its wrong name, and he attempted to explain.
“It’s not racist at all, no. It comes from China, that’s why. It comes from China. I want to be accurate,” Trump said.
Many are concerned that calling it the “China Virus” is a racist dog whistle which is causing a spike in crimes against Asian Americans.
NEW: Trump was just asked why he insists on calling coronavirus the "Chinese virus," and here's his response
"It's not racist at all, no. It comes from China, that's why. It comes from China. I want to be accurate." pic.twitter.com/YVZPAow2Iz
— Yahoo News (@YahooNews) March 18, 2020
Dr. Eugene Gu expounded on that on social media.
“I’m an Asian American physician providing free care to as many patients as I can through telemedicine to fight the coronavirus pandemic. I work with many other Asian American physicians who are doing the same. Calling it the Chinese Virus is so heartbreaking and dangerous for us,” he tweeted.
“As an Asian American, I don’t feel safe under Trump. By repeatedly calling the coronavirus the “Chinese Virus,” he’s scapegoating people like me and my family as well as millions of others like us. We have long suffered racism in this country in silence. Now it’ll be truly hell,” he added.
The CDC has a section on its site dedicated to stigma pertaining to the coronavirus.
“Fear and anxiety can lead to social stigma, for example, towards Chinese or other Asian Americans or people who were in quarantine,” the section reads. “Stigma hurts everyone by creating more fear or anger towards ordinary people instead of the disease that is causing the problem. … Counter stigma by learning and sharing facts. Communicating the facts that viruses do not target specific racial or ethnic groups and how COVID-19 actually spreads can help stop stigma.”
In addition to avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people and social distancing, the CDC has issued some tips for helping to avoid contracting the disease.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Stay home when you are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.