Choice of words: Why Trump no longer speaks of the “Chinese virus”

NA few days ago, Donald Trump repeatedly spoke of the “Chinese virus” or a “foreign virus” instead of the Corona virus. He celebrated these vocabulary rhetorically. On Thursday of last week, the American president even deleted the term “corona” with a black marker in his manuscript for a press conference in the White House – and replaced it with “Chinese”.

Cross out “Corona”, say “Chinese”: Tremp’s speech a few days ago

A Washington Post photographer had glimpsed Trump’s manuscript. “The term” Chinese virus “is not racist at all,” Trump countered critical questions. The World Health Organization (WHO) is generally opposed to a geographical reference when naming diseases.

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For days, Trump had defended his choice of words about the “Chinese virus”. Leading Republicans also used the term, thus encouraging the President to stick to it “Because the virus comes from China,” Trump justified his most recent addition of words last week: “That’s the reason. I want to be precise. “

Out. Past. Conclusion, at least for now. Trump now wants to avoid calling the corona virus the “Chinese virus”. Everyone knows that the virus came from China, but he decided “to make it no longer a big deal,” Trump said in Washington on Tuesday. As a remarkable consequence, he followed his new resolution in three appearances. During a two-hour press conference on Monday, during a virtual town hall meeting of the TV broadcaster Fox and at a press conference on Tuesday, Trump didn’t even get the “Chinese virus”.

coronavirus-task-force-briefing.jpg” data-srcset=”https://www.welt.de/img/bildergalerien/mobile206780407/2437934777-coriginal-w780/Daily-coronavirus-task-force-briefing.jpg 1.0x” media=”(min-width: 1600px)”>coronavirus-task-force-briefing.jpg” data-srcset=”https://www.welt.de/img/bildergalerien/mobile206780407/2437934777-coriginal-w780/Daily-coronavirus-task-force-briefing.jpg 1.0x” media=”(min-width: 1136px)”>coronavirus-task-force-briefing.jpg” data-srcset=”https://www.welt.de/img/bildergalerien/mobile206780407/2437934777-coriginal-w780/Daily-coronavirus-task-force-briefing.jpg 1.0x” media=”(min-width: 910px)”>coronavirus-task-force-briefing.jpg” data-srcset=”https://www.welt.de/img/bildergalerien/mobile206780407/2437934777-coriginal-w680/Daily-coronavirus-task-force-briefing.jpg 1.0x” media=”(min-width: 600px)”>coronavirus-task-force-briefing.jpg” data-srcset=”https://www.welt.de/img/bildergalerien/mobile206780407/2437934777-coriginal-w600/Daily-coronavirus-task-force-briefing.jpg 1.0x”>Deleted immediately: the virus is no longer Chinese

Deleted immediately: the virus is no longer Chinese

Credit: AFP / BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI

But why this change of heart? Trump appears to be acting under pressure from the Asian-American community, which includes approximately 20 million residents in the United States. Several Asian-born Americans have reportedly been the victims of hostility and physical violence. Nearly two dozen Asian Americans across the country described the New York Times’ discomfort.

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Russell Jeung, a professor of Asian-American studies at San Francisco State University, speaks of an increase in anti-Asian discrimination. Journalist Jiayang Fan, who writes for the “New Yorker”, reports on Twitter that while she recently took her garbage outside, she was insulted by a man for being Chinese. She never felt like this in 27 years in the United States, she later wrote.

On Monday, Jiayang Fan reported on Twitter that an Asian-American friend had told her that if racism in the US got worse, Asian-Americans might consider moving to Asia. At the same time, a nationalist aunt told her that “Americans with Asian faces” were not welcome in China. “What does that mean for a Chinese-American like me?” Fan asks.

The New York Times reports that a 16-year-old Asian American was attacked by thugs at school in California. These accused him of being infected with the Corona virus. In New York, a woman wearing a breathing mask was kicked and beaten. Trump had already warned on Monday of discrimination against Asian Americans. “It is very important that we fully protect our Asian American community in the United States and around the world,” he said. These “great people” are “in no way guilty of spreading the Corona virus“.Trump distances himself from Trump

Trump distances himself from Trump

When asked about this remark by a reporter, Trump indirectly distanced himself from his former choice of words. It seems like he says there is “a little bit of bad language towards Asian Americans in the United States, and I don’t like that at all.” The Asian Americans are “incredible people” who “love our country”. Trump left the question unanswered on Monday whether he was contributing to the phenomenon he described with the word “Chinese virus”.

While Trump has only recently given up the “Chinese virus”, Vice President Mike Pence consistently spoke of the “Corona virus” well before him. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, on the other hand, has been using the term “Wuhan virus” for weeks. He also did this on Monday while Trump was already foregoing the “Chinese virus”. Before the virtual G-7 Foreign Ministers meeting this Wednesday, Pompeo insists that the joint declaration of the corona pandemic is called “Wuhan virus”, reports “Der Spiegel”. The other G-7 countries reject this.

Democratic senator and foreign politician Ben Cardin asked Pompeo on Tuesday to avoid using the terms “Wuhan virus” or “Chinese virus”. These terms for a pandemic run the risk of “fueling stereotypes, fear and xenophobia in the face of a health crisis,” Cardin wrote in a letter to Pompeo.

with AP

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