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Trump calls the coronavirus the “Chinese Virus,” the world disagrees

US President Donald Trump on Monday labeledthe coronavirus (COVID-19) the “Chinese Virus,”triggering an avalanche of criticism.

“The United States will be powerfully supporting those industries, like Airlines and others, that are particularly affected by the Chinese Virus. We will be stronger than ever before!” Trump wrote to his 74 million followers.

It should go without saying that his tweet was wrong, as it equates the Chinese people with a disease and makes China a punching bag.

The United States’ leading national public health institute, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has stressed the importance of reducing stigma and discrimination during such stressful times, warning that fear and anxiety about a disease, such as COVID-19, can lead to social stigma toward people, places, or things.

As the CDC has pointed out, stigma and discrimination occurs when people associate a disease, such as COVID-19, with a population or nationality, and this hurts everyone by creating fear or anger towards other people.

His claim triggered many ugly comments full of racism and conspiracy, but also an avalanche of criticism from Americans and people from around the world who agreed that it is wrong for the US president to associate a group of people with a virus, something that poses a threat to all people, regardless of nationality.

“I’ve been deathly afraid of this exact moment where Trump turns to racism and xenophobia and calls COVID-19 the ‘Chinese Virus,’” Dr. Eugene Gu, who is also a personality on social media, wrote in response. “We are in deep trouble as a nation now that President of the United States makes the conscious decision to go down this dark path of hate.”

Many others also saw the claim as racist and criticized Trump for labeling the coronavirus the “Chinese Virus.”Economist David Rothschild said that Trump was being racist and American actor Mia Farrowcalled on Trump to stop with the racist comments and reminded him that the coronavirus is now “as American as apple pie.”

Others suggested that Trump is tryingto distract from domestic problems. On Weibo, a Twitter-like social media platform popular in China, many people also felt that Trump was using racism as distraction. One Weibo user wrote, “Obviously, Trump is trying to make people look away from the domestic problems in the United States.”Another Weibo user wrote, “As an individual, he doesn’t set a good example by wearing a mask in public and his poor protection and control measures have caused problems in the United States.”

As China has stated on many occasions, it is irresponsible to associate the coronavirus with the Chinese people. This is a time for all peoples to work together to fight a common enemy, which means there is no room for racism.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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