House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) hit back on Tuesday after Democrats accused him of being racist for labeling COVID-19 as the "Chinese coronavirus." The disease has also been commonly called the Wuhan virus since it originated out of the city of Wuhan, China.
McCarthy called it the Chinese coronavirus while informing people about the new government website that was created to inform people about the virus. In response, many of his Democratic colleagues said McCarthy was being racist or xenophobic.
Bigoted statements which spread misinformation and blame Asians and the Asian American community for #coronavirus make us all less safe. @GOPLeader must delete this tweet and apologize immediately. pic.twitter.com/twzCcVAWDH— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) March 10, 2020
Viruses don't have nationalities.— Rep. Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan) March 10, 2020
This is racist. https://t.co/edNDoe1LI9
Hey @GOPLeader:— (((Rep. Nadler))) (@RepJerryNadler) March 10, 2020
You know what'll help us keep Americans safe from coronavirus better than xenophobia? Paid sick leave, widespread access to free coronavirus testing, and protections against medical supply price gouging. https://t.co/WhJcNKpF2A
Calling it the "Chinese coronavirus" is xenophobic fearmongering. It's not only shameful, it makes it harder for us to defend the public health.— Bill Foster (@RepBillFoster) March 10, 2020
Everyone should follow @CDCgov's precautions for preventing the spread of the virus. https://t.co/BnQUHoG03Y
McCarthy fired back on Twitter, posting screenshots of news articles that used the phrase "Chinese coronavirus." He also pointed out that the Democratic majority on the House Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing in February that was titled, "The Wuhan Coronavirus: Assessing the Outbreak, the Response, and Regional Implications."
Here we go again.? Democrats are trying to score political points by calling Republicans racist.— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) March 11, 2020
Coronavirus is a China-born disease—made worse by a Communist Party that rejected America's help to contain it.
Which is why Dems & media called it "Chinese coronavirus" for weeks. pic.twitter.com/Km1rdn1R47
As previously reported, many news outlets described the disease as the "Wuhan virus/coronavirus" prior to it being officially named COVID-19. Here are some other examples:
- "The CDC and Homeland Security begin screening for Chinese Coronavirus at three major US airports as outbreak spreads in Asia," CNBC
- "Chinese coronavirus outbreak has reached U.S. shores, CDC says," Los Angeles Times
- "The First Case Of The Chinese Coronavirus Has Hit The US, CDC Reports," BuzzFeed News
- "Chinese coronavirus infections, death toll soar as fifth case is confirmed in U.S.," Washington Post
McCarthy added how the authoritarian Chinese government wants people to forget its delayed and disastrous handling of the virus, leading to countries around the world now having to deal with it within their borders.
The division that Democrats are sowing is exactly what the authoritarian regime of China wants. Don't fall for it. https://t.co/u1ULg2BPEo— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) March 11, 2020