Former Secretary of State and failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton weighed in on President Trump’s bipartisan, all-hands-on-deck response to the COVID-19 crisis by accusing the president of racism and warning Americans not to “fall” for Trump accurately pointing to China as the place of origin for the virus.
“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 declared on Twitter Wednesday. “Don’t fall for it. Don’t let your friends and family fall for it.”
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.
Don't fall for it. Don't let your friends and family fall for it.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) March 18, 2020
In her warning, Clinton appears to be referencing Trump’s repeated use of the term “Chinese Virus,” which, as he’s explained, simply designates the origins of the virus, a common practice historically when referencing pandemics.
Amid propagandistic claims by China that the virus originated outside the country, USA Today turned to experts for a fact-check and concluded that Trump is correct in pointing to China as its place of origin:
The consensus among researchers studying the spread of the virus pinpoints COVID-19’s likely origin to a “wet market,” or live animal market, in Wuhan, China. Though experts have not ruled out the possibility that the pathogen could have been brought to the market by an already infected person, there is no evidence to suggest COVID-19 originated outside the country.
Clinton’s post was met with overwhelming backlash online. A few examples from the flood of negative responses:
- President Trump banned travel from China early on while you and your friends called him a xenophobe. Your husband helped make Communist China a superpower. Sit down!
- She’s one to never let a crisis go to waste. Instead of being an adult during a time of crisis, she uses her platform to spread untruths and hate. No regard for human life and a horrible example for her grandchildren.
- The Democrats are more concerned with the naming of the “Chinese Virus” than actually fixing the problem. So glad Hilary isn’t our President.
- Before you’d ever heard of the virus, Trump restricted flights from China. You were against this. Never have you seen a President take such massive decisive action to fight a virus. America remembers you taking zero action in Benghazi.
- China’s government lied and covered up the virus for crucial weeks. They deserve no slack from our President!
As The Daily Wire has highlighted, other Trump critics and Democrats have likewise leveled the “racist” accusation over his use of the term, including “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough. “He wants you to become outraged so you will talk about that instead of talking about tests, so you’ll talk about that instead of talking about ventilators,” Scarborough said this week. “It’s called a rabbit trail. Yes, it is offensive but, again, we can talk about this in November when the election is in full force. But this is all a distraction.”
Congressman Ted Lieu (D-CA) even went to the effort of writing a whole op-ed for The Washington Post this week accusing Trump “stoking xenophobic panic in a time of crisis”: “For the president to continue using rhetoric that the Chinese find insulting is not helpful. It is not one country’s problem to solve,” Lieu wrote. “We are in a worldwide, life-threatening pandemic, and we all need to work together. I wish the president could set aside his xenophobia for the moment while we try to keep Americans from dying.”