'Chinese Coronavirus' Trends As Kevin McCarthy Accused of Being Racist Over COVID-19 Remarks

Tens of thousands of people have expressed their outrage after Fox News and Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy both referred to COVID-19 as the "Chinese coronavirus."

The phrase was one of the top trending topics on Twitter after McCarthy tweeted out a link of tips and advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with people reacting to the racist connotations of the phrase.

"Everything you need to know about the Chinese coronavirus can be found on one, regularly-updated website," McCarthy wrote.

There have been a total of 114,457 confirmed cases of Coronavirus across the world, with more than 80,000 in mainland China, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The virus has also spread around the world to countries such as Australia, Iran, Italy and the U.S., where there have been more than 750 confirmed cases.

Thousands of people criticized McCarthy for referring to the COVID-19 as the "Chinese coronavirus," accusing him of helping to spread fear and hatred towards Asian people.

California rep. Ted Lieu: tweeted: "One reason @POTUS & his enablers failed to contain COVID2019 is due to the myopic focus on China. The virus was also carried into the U.S. from other countries & U.S. travelers. Calling it Chinese coronavirus is scientifically wrong & as stupid as calling it the Italian coronavirus.

"COVID2019 can be carried by anyone: a U.S. citizen, a Japanese tourist, an undocumented youth, or a Member of Congress. Coronavirus doesn't care about your party, gender or religion. It is not Chinese, it's a virus."

Activist and writer Charlotte Clymer added: "Republican Party is clearly coordinating messaging to call this the 'Chinese Coronavirus' in an effort to leverage xenophobic and racist nonsense and absolve Trump of his catastrophic handling of this crisis."

McCarthy also referred to COVID-19 as the "Chinese Coronavirus" in a tweet from March 1.

"Very supportive of the travel ban from Iran, as well as new restrictions to affected areas of South Korea and Italy. Though the risk remains small for Americans, the U.S. government is taking every possible precaution to keep Americans safe against the Chinese coronavirus," he wrote.

McCarthy has been contacted for comment.

So now it’s the Chinese coronavirus? Why is racism against Asians so widely accepted and tolerated in this country?

— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) March 10, 2020

Well, this was inevitable, I guess. In an effort to whip up even more xenophobia/sinophobia, conservatives are trying to rebrand COVID-19 as “Chinese coronavirus”. https://t.co/SPzw9yu7mk

— Reappropriate (@reappropriate) March 10, 2020

It has an official name - “COVID19”. By calling it “the Chinese Coronavirus” you come across as someone looking for a scapegoat, and perhaps displaying some xenophobia.

— Les N 🇨🇦🇩🇰 (@OneFrankDrebin) March 10, 2020

They know the “chinese coronavirus” shit is wholly transparent. Part of the appeal of the tactic is to drown out coverage of Trump’s mishandling of the virus by drawing people into an argument where they can gin up fake outrage over being accused of racism pic.twitter.com/jb3upVU8yq

— Adam Serwer 🍝 (@AdamSerwer) March 10, 2020

Chinese coronavirus? On behalf of people exhausted by both subtle and overt racism, take your bullshit, peaked-in-high-school, “own the libs” attitude and try, best as your lie-addled brain can muster, to do one goddamn decent thing with the powerful position you‘ve been given. https://t.co/YmPXjTKOtB

— Rex Huppke (@RexHuppke) March 10, 2020

Don’t call it the Chinese Coronavirus and still follow me. Thanks.

— devon sawa (@DevonESawa) March 10, 2020

Republicans showing their true colours by referring to #COVIDー19 as 'Wuhan virus' or 'Chinese Coronavirus'.

— Rory Jiwani (@roryjiwani) March 10, 2020

“Wuhan virus”, “Chinese coronavirus”....I can’t decide if this obviously concerted effort from the GOP is racism, trying to blame the Chinese to cover for Trump’s incompetence, trying to make it seem more distant, sheer stupidity, or a malevolent combination of all of those.🤔🤷🏻‍♀️

— %&$# Testing NOW!!! (@lawyerladysays) March 10, 2020

"Chinese" coronavirus? Wow, people across the globe have for weeks tried to reduce the problematic stigma around this disease and there you have it an American official just bringing it back up to the surface again. Why don't you just use its official name, like a normal person? https://t.co/jkvuesJvMd

— Sheany Yasuko (@sheanyyas) March 10, 2020

TRUMP, coronavirus briefing — 6:34pm today:
"We’re going to be working with companies..... It’s not their fault, it’s not our country’s fault."

KEVIN McCARTHY, GOP Leader — 6:55 pm today:
"Everything you need to know about the Chinese coronavirus...."

The blame shifting begins. https://t.co/8qDzuTPeiK

— Douglas M. Griffin (@DouglasMGriffin) March 10, 2020

Well, the first thing you need to know is that it is not called "the Chinese coronavirus".

That's some seriously xenophobic, racist talk right there.

— (((Charlie Mas))) (@charlie_mas) March 10, 2020

Everything you need to know about the Chinese coronavirus is right HERE pic.twitter.com/GsyZqzb2gL

— AvB (@in90sec) March 10, 2020

Elsewhere, Fox News' Tucker Carlson also referred to COVID-19 as the "Chinese Coronavirus" on a segment of his show Monday night, while dismissing any suggestion that doing so could be seen as racist.

"The Chinese Coronavirus epidemic turns out to be just that, an epidemic. There's no denying that now," he said.

"This is real. You will be forgiven if the whole thing snuck up on you as if from nowhere, an obscure virus arising from a meat market in eastern China to sicken American citizens in Oregon, in New Hampshire and Illinois and midtown Manhattan. It sounds ridiculous. None of our leaders helped us to take it seriously.

"On the left, you've heard them tell you that the real worry is that you might use the wrong word to describe what's happening to the country. 'It's racist' they're telling you to blame the most racist nation in the world for the spread of this virus."

"The Chinese Coronavirus is a major event, it will affect your life. And by the way, it's definitely not just the flu," Tucker adds.

Tucker's monologue appeared with a graphic also containing the phrase "Chinese Coronavirus."

Notice how Trumps sycophants are all@calling it the “Chinese” Coronavirus. I saw a tweet where Tucker Carlson said it on his show tonight. https://t.co/j1MwF2EtK9

— Cindy Berry (@CindyBe46056943) March 10, 2020

I honestly never even heard it described as Chinese coronavirus until last night when it came from Tucker Carlson or Kevin McCarthy. These people have an obligation to stop the public from this type of hate. Instead they exploit it

— Amanda Koren (@Gmoneysparkles) March 10, 2020

I am Chinese and I have refrained from commenting on the rampant racism that has emerged with #COVID2019 until now.

"Chinese Coronavirus" is blatant racism. Viruses don't have nationalities. This is disgusting. https://t.co/ldNXUolgoR

— Fay Lin (@xiaofei_lin) March 10, 2020

“Chinese” Coronavirus? I don’t think viruses have nationalities. What is the purpose of adding this modifier?

— Barb McQuade (@BarbMcQuade) March 10, 2020

In primetime tonight, Fox Business claimed COVID-2019 was “another attempt to impeach the President.”

Meanwhile Fox News referred to the outbreak as the “Chinese Coronavirus.”

We’re in crisis and the best they’ve got is bigotry and lies.

— Joe Kennedy III (@joekennedy) March 10, 2020

There have been 4,026 deaths from COVID-19 as of March 10, including at least 24 in the U.S. A total of 64,014 people have been able to recover from the virus since the outbreak occurred.

The graphic below, provided by Statista, illustrates the spread of COVID-19 across the world as of March 9.

coronavirus, map, covid-19, countries, world
Statista

World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)Hygiene advice

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before; during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

Medical advice

  • If you feel unwell (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and call local health authorities in advance.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.

Mask usage

  • Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
  • Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
  • Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of mask.
  • Do not reuse single-use masks.
Kevin McCarthy
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) holds his weekly press conference on Capitol Hill on March 5, 2020 in Washington, DC. Samuel Corum/Getty