Asian Reporter Says WH Staffer Called Coronavirus ‘Kung-Flu’ To Her Face — ‘Makes Me Wonder What They’re Calling It Behind My Back’
Viruses are not people — they do not have identities, much less, nationalities.
Describing coronavirus, or COVID-19, as “Chinese” is ridiculous, and creates animosities from some toward Asian people.
It’s not something that’s made-up: the response to coronavirus, because it seemingly originated in China, has led to a number of hate crimes against Asian Americans in recent weeks.
So to hear lawmakers engage in such rhetoric, which can honestly be described as racist, is disappointing, infuriating, and alarming, all at once.
CBS News White House correspondent Weija Jiang described an incident that happened to her in Washington, describing how an official that works directly with the administration used racist language to describe coronavirus.
“This morning a White House official referred to #Coronavirus as the ‘Kung-Flu’ to my face,” Jiang said in a tweet. “Makes me wonder what they’re calling it behind my back.”
This morning a White House official referred to #Coronavirus as the “Kung-Flu” to my face. Makes me wonder what they’re calling it behind my back.
— Weijia Jiang (@weijia) March 17, 2020
One doesn’t have to wonder too hard to understand this isn’t just a lone incident from one official: it’s the viewpoint from the very top of the chain of command.
On Monday, when describing some of the economic actions he was considering taking with regard to the coronavirus, President Donald Trump described COVID-19 as being “Chinese” as well.
“The United States will be powerfully supporting those industries, like Airlines and others, that are particularly affected by the Chinese Virus,” Trump wrote, per reporting from NBC News. “We will be stronger than ever before!”
While tens of thousands of cases have been diagnosed in China, this past week the number of cases outside of that country was greater than the number inside of it. This is no longer a single country’s problem, nor the fault of one country, to say the least.
This is a global pandemic, and it’s up to every country to play a role in halting its spread.
Featured image credit: Joyce N. Boghosian/The White House