Medical officials, experts, and the World Health Organization (WHO) refer to the latest pandemic as Corona virus (Chinese virus) , but not some influential world leaders who used this opportunity to stigmatize a specific disease. We haven’t learned anything from history yet, have we?
The notorious part-time, full-time “Twitterati” President Donald Trump took to Twitter to tackle COVID-19 as “The Chinese Virus” in the middle of the world battling the Corona virus pandemic. Though he did say the same tweet that the United States will continue to help the hardest-hit sectors, such as the aviation and the travel Industry, where he completely overlooked the dearth of funds faced by the US healthcare system, the worst part remains that he is still nationalizing Corona virus.
Trump Words on Chinese Virus from Day 1
Since Day 1, the US has been struggling to cope with the pandemic and Trump’s blame game has only put the situation in further jeopardy. Trump has also blamed former President Barack Obama for the increase in the number of cases in the states. Afterwards Trump blamed WHO, his own medical officers and ministers and now China. It is confirmed that in China, the first case of Corona virus has been identified, but does that make the virus Chinese? Trump’s own secretary went on record to condemn Trump’s racist beliefs because no religion or race propagates the virus, but Trump’s beliefs propagate Xenophobia.
When asked to comment on his racist remarks naming the Chinese virus, Trump denied all claims by saying, “The only reason I name the Chinese virus is that it originates from China. Anything I say is not racist. Not racist at all.” Now, the question that remains is why the Chinese naming is extremely wrong?
There are two answers to that question, and both lie in the dynamics of control. Firstly, experience has been the witness that it has contributed to disastrous results if a disease or pandemic has been stigmatized to a specific race or nationality. Jewish people were blamed for Black Death epidemic in Europe in the 14th century, and were killed in large numbers. Once, in the 19th century, Irish Catholic immigrants were blamed for bringing cholera to the US and were forced into detention camps and threatened with mass killing. If you really don’t understand the stigmatization relationship of the disease and its impact on people and national policies. In 1876, a group of San Francisco-based Chinese people became the scapegoat for smallpox outbreak which prompted the infamous Chinese Exclusion Act.
The Ending Words on Virus
While Trump may only be following the past trend of naming diseases at their place of origin, such as Ebola, The Zika Virus, and more, what he doesn’t know is that the world has already recognized their stigmatizing disease error. Therefore, in 2015, the WHO set out criteria for naming a disease in order to prevent just what Trump is doing right now. The Asian-American community, especially the Chinese-American community, is facing immense brutality, hatred and everyday bigotry because of the philosophy that Trump preaches. This trend is also evident in India, where many cases of abuse and bigotry towards the North-Eastern people have been recorded.
The Corona virus sees no nationality, no religion, no race, it sees only an immediate action plan for health. Whenever an epidemic has spread, history has written down shameful cases of xenophobia and stigma. Trump’s futile attempt to play the blame game and nationalize people’s suffrage reveals only the politics of a right-wing, capital-driven dictator.