Someone got a snap of President Trump’s notes from a recent press conference discussing the Chinese Coronavirus Pandemic. During the past few pressers, the President has been plagued by idiots in the White House press corps grilling and excoriating him because he says the pandemic is caused by a “Chinese virus.”
They continue to berate President Trump, despite the fact that they themselves for months have called the virus either the Wuhan coronavirus or the Chinese coronavirus! See this link for a montage.
While they were referring to the virus as the Wuhan or Chinese virus, nobody brought a charge of racism against them or claimed that using such terminology amounted to a dog whistle for bigots and racists. I wonder why?
Below is a list of diseases that I compiled today, with the approximate dates they were first recognized. All of these diseases were named after geographical locations. You may recognize some or all of them. You may even have, like me, suffered through some of them.
African Sleeping Sickness 14th century
Japanese Encephalitis 1500s
German measles 1740
Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis 1800s
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever 1800s
Eastern (U.S.) Equine Encephalitis 1831
Russian Influenza 1889
Spanish Influenza 1918
Western (U.S.) Equine Encephalitis 1930
Rift Valley Fever 1931
St. Louis Encephalitis 1933
West Nile Virus Disease 1937
Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever 1944
Lassa Fever 1950s
Tacaribe Hemorrhagic Fever 1950s
Zika Fever 1954
Asian Influenza 1957
Bolivian Hemorrhagic Fever 1963
Marburg Virus 1967
Hong Kong Influenza 1968
Pontiac Fever 1968
Lyme Disease 1975
Victoria Influenza 1976
Ebola Virus Disease 1976
Hanta Virus 1976
Russian Influenza 1977
Venezuelan hemorrhagic fever 1989
Brazilian Hemorrhagic Fever 2019
New Caledonia Influenza 1999
Fujian Influenza 2003
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) 2012
Bourbon Virus Disease 2014
Wuhan Coronavirus Pandemic 2019
It’s likely that I haven’t found all of the various diseases that afflict human beings and which were named for geographical locations, but these instances are enough to prove that it’s a long-standing practice to name novel viruses or new epidemics of previously known viruses after the area of the world where they first appeared or were first identified.
There is nothing racist about it.
Places are not races.
Something doesn’t instantly become racist, after having been done by others for centuries, simply because President Trump does it now.
The Wuhan China Coronavirus is plaguing us enough already. We don’t need an additional plague of stupidity, spite, and divisiveness.