President Trump and the right-wing media machine have spent the past two weeks attempting to rebrand COVID-19 as the “Chinese Virus” in an obvious attempt to stir up xenophobia against Asian-Americans and to cover up the outrageous mismanagement of the Trump administration by shunting blame on to China.
A partial list of Trump's tweets where he uses the phrase "Chinese virus," and today's tweet where he says, "It is very important that we totally protect our Asian American community…" pic.twitter.com/Y77R4lOuLI
— Hamza Shaban (@hshaban) March 23, 2020
Predictably, this has provoked a surge of hateful attacks and harassment against Chinese-Americans from an American population seemingly chomping at the bit to get out there and do some racism.
The New York Times reports that interviews with nearly two dozen Chinese Americans revealed: “they were afraid — to go grocery shopping, to travel alone on subways or buses, to let their children go outside.” Some recounted being spit upon; CNN reporter Kyung Lah told fellow host Jake Tapper that someone shouted a racial slur at her as she prepared to do a live shot.
“So we were standing there preparing for live shots this morning, just hours ago and a man walked up and used a racial slur. Flung it right at me. And I was so surprised and so taken aback that I asked him to repeat it because I couldn’t believe,” said a shocked Lah.
Equally as predictable was the President’s inevitable and eye-rollingly insincere attempt to insist that actually, he loves Asian-Americans and would never incite hate against them or imply that the coronavirus crisis was their fault despite having spent the past two weeks doing so.
….is NOT their fault in any way, shape, or form. They are working closely with us to get rid of it. WE WILL PREVAIL TOGETHER!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 23, 2020
In typical Trump fashion, he is now is lazily attempting to wash his hands of the consequences of his flagrant race-baiting and dog-whistles.
Nobody on social media was buying it, however:
You were calling it the new coronavirus or Covid-19 like the rest of the world until you decided it would benefit you to rile up your fans by calling it the Chinese virus. Big surprise they are now attacking random Asian-Americans. pic.twitter.com/Wxhd8pEMOL
— Helen Kennedy (@HelenKennedy) March 23, 2020
More proof if you needed it that Trump is less humane than Bush. Bush right after 9/11 was in DC Mosque telling the American people the equivalent of the message below. Trump took more than a month and kept aggravating the anti-Asian backlash by calling it the Chinese Virus. #GOP https://t.co/7ZDnOZUPjG
— Mohamed Elibiary (@MohamedElibiary) March 23, 2020
Then, stop being racist by blaming the #TrumpVirus on them.
— David Rothschild (@DavMicRot) March 23, 2020
I can’t speak for Asian American communities. I can only speak for myself, recalling all the times he’s said the same kind of stuff about black folks after he’s done something to put us in danger from harassment or worse. So, fuck this. The damage is done. https://t.co/SqatSEmMlP
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) March 23, 2020
You didn’t write this. You have never said “Asian American” in your fucking life.
— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) March 23, 2020
Experts say your use of “Chinese virus” is the problem.
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) March 23, 2020
Right…Trump crossed out “Corona” and replaced it with “Chinese virus” because he loves the Asian people? Give me a break. 🙄🙄🙄 pic.twitter.com/Ea2Hj1f0H2
— Ladywolf (@NorskLadyWolf) March 23, 2020