Coronavirus: Looking for a scapegoat
Trump (and some Republicans) continue to blame the Chinese
Yesterday, from President Trump:
The United States will be powerfully supporting those industries, like Airlines and others, that are particularly affected by the Chinese Virus. We will be stronger than ever before!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 16, 2020
This follows a number of other statements by Trump, some Republicans, and Fox News which appear to blame the Chinese for the coronavirus. Ironically, as Newsweek noted:
The president's statement came just over two hours after he tweeted out a message asking Americans to "band together and support your neighbors."
There was reaction to his comments. CNN reports:
"We've had plenty of examples of this in the past. It's mindblowing that this still continues," said Varlik, an associate professor of history at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey, and at the University of South Carolina.
"It opens up the ways of thinking about disease in dangerous ways," she said. "Once you open that door. . . historically we have examples, we know where it goes. And we don't want to go there. I find it extremely dangerous."
But Trump is not alone. From today’s Washington Post:
Republican lawmakers have repeatedly referred to the disease, which originated in China, with terms such as the “Wuhan Virus,” “Chinese Coronavirus” and “foreign virus.” In February, the World Health Organization warned against using “harmful stereotypes.”
The United States has a history of identifying immigrants with a disease. For example, during a cholera outbreak in the 19th century, many blamed the Irish, and many became suspicious of people who were Chinese during plague epidemics in San Francisco.
And apparently, Trump hires "only the best" racists. From the CBS News White House Correspondent:
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