As countries around the world strive to contain and defeat the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, US President Donald Trump has apparently managed to stir quite a storm online thanks to his definition of this pathogen.
In his 16 March tweet, Trump promised that the US will be "powerfully" supporting the industries most affected by the COVID-19 which he named "the Chinese Virus".
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) 16 марта 2020 г.
On 17 March, Trump seemed to double down on his claims, once again mentioning the “Chinese Virus” in a tweet regarding the current situation in New York.
Cuomo wants “all states to be treated the same.” But all states aren’t the same. Some are being hit hard by the Chinese Virus, some are being hit practically not at all. New York is a very big “hotspot”, West Virginia has, thus far, zero cases. Andrew, keep politics out of it....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 17 марта 2020 г.
The US president's choice of words, perhaps predictably, has quickly attracted the attention of quite a few netizens who didn't seem to think highly of this reference to China.
46-1 called #coronavirus the #ChineseVirus.— Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) 17 марта 2020 г.
Guess he doesn’t know wypipo gave us smallpox, bubonic plague, chickenpox, cholera, the common cold, diphtheria, influenza, malaria, measles, scarlet fever, sexually transmitted diseases, typhoid, typhus, tuberculosis, and pertussis. https://t.co/SNNt6xpuKU
First you kill the stock market with your mishandling of this pandemic, and then you add a dollop of racism on top.— Jess Phoenix 🌋 (@jessphoenix2018) 17 марта 2020 г.
You are just pathetic.
This US leader is stoking racism and hatred when the world needs solidarity and cooperation to fight a common enemy as many world leaders and almost all medical experts advocated. Not surprised given his track record.— Chen Weihua (@chenweihua) 17 марта 2020 г.
Chinese Virus???— Angela Belcamino (@AngelaBelcamino) 16 марта 2020 г.
Just when you think Trump can't go any lower, he always finds a way.
Trump's statements also earned him the criticism of the Global Times newspaper which claimed that the US president was attempting to "hide his administration's lack of prevention & control measures against the coronavirus".
What a president! By labeling the COVID-19 “Chinese virus,” Trump tries to hide his administration's lack of prevention & control measures against the #coronavirus. He passes the buck to China, trying to prove that he is NOT responsible for the current situation the US is facing. https://t.co/LubdzY1G1y— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) 17 марта 2020 г.
Chinese news agency Xinhua also proceeded to blast the US politicians who allegedly tend to "cast blame on others when problems arise".
"Under domestic criticism on their sloppy response to the worsening situation of COVID-19, it is not beyond expectation that they posted tweets calling the coronavirus 'Chinese',” the media outlet stated.
There were those, however, who argued that the "Chinese virus" moniker was apt.
THANK YOU for calling the virus what it is—a Chinese virus.— thebradfordfile™ (@thebradfordfile) 16 марта 2020 г.
CHINA is responsible for all of this chaos, carnage, and costs.
They must be held accountable.