Jim Acosta, CNN's chief White House correspondent, said that the effort for President Trump to label COVID-19, commonly referred to as the coronavirus or the Wuhan virus, as a "foreign" disease will come across as "xenophobia" to many Americans.
Acosta made his analysis after Trump addressed the nation about the next steps the U.S. government is taking to try to stop the further spread of the coronavirus.
"The other thing, Chris, that I think we should point out, at one point during the address the president referred to the Coronavirus as a quote, 'foreign virus.' That, I think, was interesting because I was talking to sources this evening, one of the points that the president wanted to make tonight, wanted to get across to Americans is that this virus did not start here, nut that they are dealing with it," Acosta told host Chris Cuomo.
"Now why the president would go as far as to describe it as a foreign virus, that is something we’ll also be asking questions about, but it should be pointed out that Stephen Miller, who is an immigration hardliner who advises the president is one of the top domestic policy advisers and speechwriter, was a driving force in writing this speech and I think it is going to come across to a lot of Americans as smacking of xenophobia to use that kind of term in this speech," he added.
Democrats and some members of the mainstream media have recently accused Republicans of racism and xenophobia whenever they have referred to COVID-19 as the "Wuhan virus" or the "Chinese virus."
Democrats pounced on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) after he called COVID-19 the "Chinese virus" in a tweet. He responded by pointing out that many members of the press and some Democrats had called it the "Chinese virus." Not only that, but, as previously reported, the media had also described the new disease as the "Wuhan virus/coronavirus" prior to it being officially named COVID-19 in early February.
Acosta himself had even described the disease as the "Wuhan Coronavirus."
CNN International: Authorities in Beijing have cancelled all large-scale Chinese New Year celebrations in an effort to contain the growing spread of Wuhan Coronavirus.— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) January 23, 2020