Hours after the media claimed Donald Trump was starting to change his coronavirus tone for the better, the president took to Twitter to remind the country who he really is.
In a tweet, Trump fell back into his comfort zone of racist, dog-whistle politics and referred to COVID-19 (aka coronavirus) as the “Chinese Virus.”
“The United States will be powerfully supporting those industries, like Airlines and others, that are particularly affected by the Chinese Virus,” Trump said. “We will be stronger than ever before!”
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
Medical experts call the label racist and inaccurate
Using “China Virus” and “Wuhan Virus” as shorthand for COVID-19 is something right-wing media figures and lawmakers have been doing over the past several weeks, but medical experts and even Trump’s lapdog CDC chief have said it’s inaccurate and racist to do so.
According to Yale’s Marietta Vazquez, “This behavior, and the stigma associated with referring to an illness in a way that deliberately creates unconscious (or conscious) bias, can keep people from getting care they may desperately need to get better and prevent others from getting sick.”
“When faced with this type of constant, heightened discrimination our friends, neighbors and colleagues of Asian-decent can feel uncomfortable in places they should feel welcome, included, and safe,” she added. “This type of discrimination may also put their mental health at risk.”
Last week, CDC director Robert Redfield said it was “absolutely wrong and inappropriate to call this the Chinese coronavirus.”
Despite the guidance from the medical community and the fact that dog-whistle politics should have no place in a global health emergency, the president couldn’t help himself.
Sure, he may have struck a more serious tone during his coronavirus news briefing on Monday, but it’s clear that Donald Trump is still the same repugnant racist he was yesterday.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.