As COVID-19 threatens to halt daily life in the US, President Trump is under fire over irresponsible language.
Trump has drawn criticism for his frequent use of the phrase “Chinese virus” when describing COVID-19. Officials at the WHO, the CDC and US Department of Health and Human Services have all made public statements against Trump’s stigmatization of the virus.
As Asian Americans face an uptick in racism, and as Trump is criticized for mishandling the US response to the virus, it’s an irresponsible decision that will yield real consequences.
View this post on InstagramA post shared by Jabin Botsford (@jabinbotsford)
A post shared by Jabin Botsford (@jabinbotsford)
Former NBA player Jeremy Lin and actors Simu Liu and Daniel Dae Kim are among the celebrities who have also come out against Trump’s anti-Asian messaging. In a sub-tweet responding to Donald Trump’s comment that many viruses have historically been named for where they’ve originated, Lin asserted that “Asian Americans [including people] I know are threatened and physically attacked…I don’t give a crap about the history of names.”
And I dont wanna hear about no German measles/Spanish flu bc everyday Asian-Americans inc ppl I know are threatened and physically attacked. I dont give a crap about the history of names rn. What I do know is this subtle anti-Chinese message only empowers more hate towards asians— Jeremy Lin (@JLin7) March 17, 2020
And I dont wanna hear about no German measles/Spanish flu bc everyday Asian-Americans inc ppl I know are threatened and physically attacked. I dont give a crap about the history of names rn. What I do know is this subtle anti-Chinese message only empowers more hate towards asians
— Jeremy Lin (@JLin7) March 17, 2020
On Wednesday, Korean American actor Daniel Dae Kim announced he had tested positive for COVID-19 in a video message on Instagram:
The virus doesn’t care about race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, whether you’re rich or poor, or your immigration status. Only we seem to care about that.
View this post on InstagramA post shared by Daniel Dae Kim (@danieldaekim)
A post shared by Daniel Dae Kim (@danieldaekim)
Kim signed off his message with a plea to Americans to “please stop the prejudice and senseless violence against Asian people…despite what certain political leaders want to call it, I don’t consider the place where it’s from as important as the people who are sick and dying.”
In a White House press briefing on Tuesday, when asked how he felt about being criticized for the phrase “Chinese virus” Trump simply claimed that that he “[had] to call it where it came from; it did come from China. So I think it’s a very accurate term.”
Stay inside, wash your hands often, and treat everyone with respect.
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