China’s State-Run Press Appears to Chastise Trump for Labeling Coronavirus ‘Chinese Virus’

“Racism is not the right tool to cover your own incompetence,” Xinhua News tweeted

Last Updated: March 17, 2020 @ 9:58 AM

Xinhua News, China’s state-run press, appeared to chastise President Trump after he referred to the coronavirus as the “Chinese Virus” in a tweet Monday night.

“Racism is not the right tool to cover your own incompetence,” Xinhua responded in a tweet, which didn’t link to any other news story and include any other context.

The virus, which is now a global pandemic, originated in Wuhan, China. The World Health Organization has mandated that “the name of the disease could not refer to a geographical location, an animal, an individual or group of people. It also needed to relate to the disease and be pronounceable. This choice will help guard against the use of other names that might be inaccurate or stigmatizing.”

Chinese and Asian Americans have reported being subjected to harassment and even violence as the pandemic spreads. Trump declared the coronavirus pandemic a national emergency during a White House press conference just last Friday. In late February, Trump downplayed the risk, saying the virus would “within a couple days [it is] going to be down to close to zero.”

Trump’s “Chinese Virus” label is consistent with his practice of disparaging foreigners. Axios says such language employed by the Trump administration “subtly frames other national security issues as problems created by foreigners.”

Trump’s handling of the crisis has been widely criticized. For instance, Meghan McCain went off on him during Monday’s episode of “The View,” hitting him hard for his administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The mixed messaging coming out of the White House right now is not only irresponsible but it’s downright dangerous,” the co-host said.

McCain also criticized GOP Rep. Devin Nunes for encouraging people to go out to eat Sunday, which directly contradicts recommendations from the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that Americans practice social distancing. She criticized Trump as someone who “can’t even handle not shaking hands,” a reference to his numerous handshakes at a press conference Friday where he announced the designation of coronavirus as a national emergency. That, too, is in contrast to advice from experts, who largely suggest minimizing contact to avoid spreading the virus.

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