[WATCH] 35 Times the Media Said 'Wuhan Coronavirus' or 'Chinese Coronavirus'
In an apparent effort to smear Republicans and President Donald Trump, legacy media figures have decided that referring to the coronavirus using any geographic term such as "Wuhan" or "Chinese" is insensitive and racist. Many have suggested that Trump's efforts to pause foreign travel are some sort of dog-whistle. Yet many of the same figures who condemn Trump and Republicans for using geographic terms to describe the virus did the very same thing themselves not so long ago.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has suggested that people should avoid attaching "locations or ethnicity to the disease, this is not a 'Wuhan Virus', 'Chinese Virus' or 'Asian Virus'. The official name for the disease was deliberately chosen to avoid stigmatization." Indeed, Americans should not look askance at people of Chinese descent because of this virus. It would be a serious problem if people called it the "Yellow Virus" or the "Hun Virus." But geographic terms are not racist.
However, when Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) referred to the virus as the "Wuhan Virus," liberals accused him of supporting "white supremacy." A Hollywood screenwriter tweeted, "Only racists call it the Wuhan Virus." MSNBC's Chris Hayes called Gosar's use of the term "astoundingly gross."
Gosar responded by noting that many legacy media outlets had used the term "Wuhan Virus" or mentioned the coronavirus as coming from Wuhan or China.
CNN's Chris Cuomo recently attacked Trump for using geographic terms. "You're starting to hear the Republicans, especially Trump co., calling it the 'Wuhan' or the 'Chinese coronavirus,'" Cuomo said.
Since Cuomo attacked Trump for those terms, the Media Research Center (MRC) tracked down at least 35 video clips in which legacy media figures referred to the coronavirus as the "Wuhan coronavirus" or the "Chinese coronavirus." This 2-minute video shows the utter hypocrisy and moral bankruptcy of our media "betters" lecturing us about supposed racism.
In one hilarious segment of MRC's video, CNN's Don Lemon joins a guest in slamming Trump for suggesting the virus is foreign. "The Chinese coronavirus that they've been calling it," he says. Then the video cuts to a clip showing Don Lemon himself talking about "the first U.S. case of Chinese coronavirus."
Yes, many of the very news anchors who condemn terms like the "Wuhan Virus" as racist also referred to the coronavirus using geographic terms — oh, sorry, I mean horrific white supremacist racist slurs. So are these journalists racists — or just lying hypocrites?
Tyler O'Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.