“Ultimately, diseases are about biology, not geography,” said Jeremy Konyndyk, who help lead the U.S. response to the 2014 Ebola outbreak in Africa. Descriptions of coronavirus that are winning praise in some GOP circles are racist, potentially undermine efforts to prevent spread of the disease and and threaten to harm relationships with China, health advocates say.
Politico: Trump Aides Pound On China. Health Experts Say: Please Stop.
They call it the “Wuhan virus.” As a lethal pandemic races across the world, overwhelming health systems and upending entire societies, President Donald Trump’s top aides and allies see an opening to weaken a vulnerable adversary. The Trump team’s escalating drumbeat against China is worrying some public health experts, who say the attempts to blame Beijing for the coronavirus outbreak could harm efforts to combat the spreading contagion, while winning praise from others. (Toosi, 3/13)
NBC News: GOP Lawmakers Continue To Use ‘Wuhan Virus’ Or ‘Chinese Coronavirus’
Republican lawmakers have persisted in using “Wuhan virus” or “Chinese coronavirus,” despite remarks by Democrats and the director of the CDC that such phrases are inaccurate and even racist. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., used the term “Wuhan virus” on Thursday in announcing that his Washington office was closing because of the illness. His comments came two days after the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Robert Redfield, agreed when questioned at a House hearing that it was “absolutely wrong and inappropriate” to use such labels. (Yam, 3/12)
CNN: What Historians Hear As Trump Describes ‘Foreign Virus’
For immigration historians and other scholars, the way US President Donald Trump is describing the coronavirus pandemic has a familiar ring. “This is the most aggressive and comprehensive effort to confront a foreign virus in modern history,” Trump said in an Oval Office address Wednesday night. “I am confident that by counting and continuing to take these tough measures we will significantly reduce the threat to our citizens and we will ultimately and expeditiously defeat this virus. “As soon as Trump’s words describing a “foreign virus” hit the airwaves, Nükhet Varlik knew she’d heard them before. (Shoichet, 3/12)
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