Chinese state communist propaganda promoted a tweet from Democrat Hillary Clinton on Friday that contained misleading information about President Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus, which originated in China.
“The president is turning to racist rhetoric to distract from his failures to take the coronavirus seriously early on, make tests widely available, and adequately prepare the country for a period of crisis,” Clinton wrote on Twitter. “Don’t fall for it. Don’t let your friends and family fall for it.”
Chinese state media took a screenshot of Clinton’s tweet and wrote: “Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday critiqued President Donald Trump’s recent usage of ‘Chinese Virus’ to refer to the #COVID19 as ‘racist rhetoric,’ which is an attempt to eclipse his poor response in curbing the virus outbreak.”
Chinese Ambassador to South Africa Lin Songtian promoted the tweet, writing, “It is true. Justice always speak loudly.”
It is true. Justice always speak loudly. https://t.co/kZjcYccFPg
— Chinese Ambassador to South Africa (@AmbLINSongtian) March 20, 2020
Clinton’s claim that Trump did not take the coronavirus seriously early on is an opinion and not a fact.
The Associated Press reported on December 31 that China was investigating the outbreak of a new pneumonia-like illness that broke out in Wuhan.
On January 6, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Americans to be careful if they were traveling to China. The next day the CDC activated a system to track cases of the coronavirus.
On January 20, the U.S. reported its first case of the coronavirus in Washington State, and three days later China quarantined the entire city of Wuhan.
Trump announced the creation of a task force to combat the coronavirus before the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a “public health emergency of international concern.”
At the very end of January, Trump banned travel from foreign nationals who had been to China within the past 14 days.
Clinton’s claim that Trump has not made testing widely available is also misleading.
Trump signed a bill into law – an emergency aid package that gave free coronavirus testing to anyone who needed it.
Doctor Scott Gottlieb highlighted on Saturday that LabCorp, a U.S. medical diagnostic testing firm, announced that it now has the ability to perform more than 20,000 tests per day.
LabCorp says it's now able to perform more than 20,000 #COVID19 tests per day. The public health minded people of that company, and their CEO Adam H Schechter, should be applauded for what they accomplished in record time. https://t.co/llt785x1sx
— Scott Gottlieb, MD (@ScottGottliebMD) March 21, 2020
Also, referring to the coronavirus by a name that specifies its geographic origin is not racist as numerous diseases have been named after where they were first discovered.
Trump even explained that the reason he started to call the coronavirus the “Chinese virus” was because China’s communist government began promoting false conspiracy theories that the U.S. military was responsible for the outbreak in China.
"It comes from China… it's not racist," President Trump when an ABC News reporter asked: "Why do you keep calling this the Chinese Virus?"pic.twitter.com/os9y8ey6Ac
— Nathan Brand (@NathanBrandWA) March 18, 2020
The American Council on Science and Health reported earlier this month that “historically, microbiologists named new diseases after locations, animals or people”:
Historically, microbiologists named new diseases after locations, animals or people. To this day, flu strains are named after the city in which they were first isolated.
There’s another problem with accusing the name “Wuhan virus” of being racist. All influenza strains are named after the location in which they were first isolated.
This isn’t done because of racism. It’s done because it helps epidemiologists track the viruses. Once again, things could get awfully confusing if influenza strains were named “Flu #3296” and “Flu #9114.”
As usual, America’s pathological obsession with racism misfires again.
Numerous diseases have been named after their place of origin, including:
- Guinea Worm; named after the Guinea coast of West Africa.
- West Nile Virus; named after the river in Africa.
- Ross River Fever; named after a river in Australia.
- MERS; stands for Middle East respiratory syndrome.
- Ebola; named for a river in Africa.
- Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever; named after Omsk, Russia.
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, named after a mountain range in the U.S.
- Lyme Disease; named after a town in Connecticut.