News and Commentary

NY Times Notes GOP Leaders Get Accused Of Racism For Calling Coronavirus ‘Wuhan.’ Check Out These NY Times Tweets.
Photo by Peter Dazeley/Getty Images

On Tuesday morning, The New York Times reported that critics had singled out conservatives such as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and  Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) for using the term “Wuhan” when describing the coronavirus that has affected various parts of the world. The Times tweeted:

Some conservatives, including Mike Pompeo, Sen. Tom Cotton and Rep. Paul Gosar, are using the term “Wuhan virus” to describe Covid-19. Critics accused the term, which goes against the recommendation of health officials, of being racist and xenophobic.

The Times may have taken satisfaction in seeing prominent members of the GOP come under fire for alleged racist and xenophobic language, but it should take a look at its own house first. Check out these tweets from the paper that has boasted it featured “All the news fit to print”:

January 21: “Breaking News: The first U.S. case of the Wuhan coronavirus has been confirmed in Washington State, federal officials said. The virus has spread from China to at least 4 other countries.”

January 21: “Maps: Where the Wuhan coronavirus has spread.”

January 23: “A Texas A&M University student is being examined for a suspected case of the Wuhan coronavirus. Officials say they’re keeping the patient isolated at home while they do additional testing.”

January 23: “A look at China’s battle with the Wuhan coronavirus, in photos.”

January 24: “The latest on the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak: France has become the first country in Europe to report infections. Authorities confirmed one case in Bordeaux and another in Paris.”

January 27: “The death toll of the Wuhan coronavirus climbed to at least 80 – Nearly 3,000 people have so far contracted the virus – China extended its Lunar New Year holiday by three more days to discourage people from traveling Latest updates here:”

January 27: “Videos circulating on Chinese social media show doctors straining to handle the enormous workload and hospital corridors loaded with patients, some of whom appear to already be dead. Here are the latest updates on the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak.”


January 29: “China now has more cases of the Wuhan coronavirus than it had of SARS, but comparing the two is tricky —170 people have died. More than 7,711 cases have been confirmed. —Mask hoarders may raise the risk of an outbreak in the United States.”

February 2: “The Wuhan coronavirus spreading from China is now likely to become a pandemic that circles the globe, according to experts. But scientists do not yet know how lethal the new coronavirus is.”

The Guardian reported on Tuesday in a piece titled, “Republicans face backlash over racist labeling of coronavirus,” that the Chinese government took umbrage with politicians using the term Wuhan to describe the virus:

China reacted furiously on Monday, with a spokesman for the foreign ministry criticizing US elected officials. “Despite the fact that the WHO [World Health Organization] has officially named this novel type of coronavirus, certain American politician[s], disrespecting science and the WHO decision, jumped at the first chance to stigmatize China and Wuhan with it. We condemn this despicable practice,” said Geng Shuang.

The Guardian then issued its partisan shot: “Republicans’ attempts to associate Covid-19 overtly with China repeats a common theme of associating epidemics with certain countries, such as 1918 influenza pandemic being branded ‘Spanish flu.’”

No mention of The New York Times.