President Trump sees nothing wrong with calling the COVID-19 coronavirus the "Chinese Virus."
That's how he's referred to the coronavirus during press conferences and on Twitter, despite China experts sharing their concerns that this is xenophobic and will increase tensions between the U.S. and China. "It's not racist at all," Trump said on Wednesday. "It comes from China, that's why."
COVID-19 most likely emerged in China in November or December, with the first reported case in the United States appearing in January. Public health officials avoid using geographical names for viruses because of the possibility of it leading to discrimination, and Scott Kennedy, a China expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told The New York Times that by calling this the "Chinese Virus," Trump is "fueling a narrative in China about a broader American hatred and fear of not just the Chinese Communist Party but of China and Chinese people in general."
On Tuesday, Trump said there are rumors in China that COVID-19 was actually created by the U.S. Army, and one reason why he calls the coronavirus the "Chinese Virus" is because he "didn't appreciate the fact that China was saying that our military gave it to them. I think saying that our military gives it to them creates a stigma." Trump may say he's merely being factual by calling it the "Chinese Virus," but given his administration's "long record of statements and actions on immigration, immigrants, and issues of race, use of this term can't but be interpreted as xenophobic and tinged with racist overtones," Kennedy said.