Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade is aligned with President Donald Trump when it comes to labeling the novel coronavirus the “Chinese virus.”
“While some here say that’s a racist term, it’s actually just an accurate term of where it started and them not being transparent about how it started really hurt literally the rest of the planet,” he said, referencing the first cases of COVID-19, recorded in China.
“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 Chinese government announced on Tuesday that it will be revoking the press credentials of American journalists working for the New York Times, the Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal and that they will not be allowed to work as reporters in China, Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions.
The announcement comes two weeks after the Trump administration limited the number of Chinese citizens from five state-controlled media outlets — Xinhua, CGTN, China Radio, China Daily and The People’s Daily — who could work in the U.S. because those outlets had been deemed as “propaganda outlets” controlled by Beijing.
Last week, one of Kilmeade’s colleagues in primetime also defended labeling the coronavirus by the region where cases were first reported. Tucker Carlson advocated March 11 for calling COVID-19 the “Wuhan virus” and criticized networks for their stance on it. He even pointed out that other networks, including CNN and MSNBC, have called it “Wuhan virus” in past coverage, too.
The World Health Organization stipulates the virus should be called COVID-19 or coronavirus instead of “Chinese virus” or “Wuhan virus.” “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,” it says.
Wednesday morning, Trump was back to tweeting about the “Chinese virus”: “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 & false!”
Watch Kilmeade’ clip below:
Brian Kilmeade denies that calling covid-19 "the Chinese virus" is racist: "It's actually just an accurate term of where it started" pic.twitter.com/158QbMCViR
— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) March 18, 2020