Thursday, March 18, 2021

No Free Pass

I hate to defend Donald Trump- even on a technical point- but I have to do so. On the floor of the Senate, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (as seen at 3:58 of the video below) stated

With respect t the Asian-American communities all all communities, we must condemn rhetoric that is racist. In this case, we must and condemn any rhetoric that blames the Chinese people for the coronavirus. President Trump did that- repeatedly.

It is incendiary rhetoric, indulged in by then-President Trump to whip up rancor and division. However, if it is racist, we need to stop referring to Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), the Spanish Flu, German measles, and fourteen other diseases named for a place or a body of water.

That might not be a bad idea, given that use of the term by the most boisterous, bellicose, and  belligerent of Presidents in American history was intended to be disputatious, disruptive, and divisive, and may have turned deadly.

Nonetheless- and despite Trump's pervasive impact on the climate of fear and hate- avoidance of the term "China virus" and the more incendiary "Chinese virus" must not deflect attention from the role of that huge Asian nation in SARS-CoV-2.   As Mr. Schumer probably would not concede except under penalty of  death, the coronavirus did initiate in one particular country. 

We don't know whether the virus originated in a wet market or a laboratory. However, we do know in what country and city it originated, which country tried to cover up its outbreak, and which country is still attempting to conceal its origin. That nation is China, or in respect of the island nation adjacent to it, Mainland China.

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