Comedian Stephen Colbert said Tuesday that President Trump’s calling the coronavirus the “Chinese virus” is “a very racist term.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has routinely referred to the coronavirus, or COVID-19, as the Wuhan coronavirus, in reference to the Chinese city where the disease most probably originated. President Donald Trump called the pandemic the “Chinese virus” for the first time Monday.
But Colbert, who was broadcasting and social distancing from his backyard, doesn’t think this kind of terminology has anything to do with geography but is a “dog whistle.” (RELATED: Pompeo Blames Chinese Communist Party For Global ‘Suffering Due To COVID-19)
“Now, we’ve all been calling it coronavirus or COVID-19 but Trump’s been tooting his dog whistle pretty hard by calling it ‘Chinese virus’ and he defended it at today’s press conference.”
Colbert proceeded to show a video of a presidential news conference where Trump is confronted about his used of the term “Chinese virus,”and asked how he feels about being criticized for using that phrase. (RELATED: ‘Buy American’ — White House Confirms Executive Order That Will End Medical Supply Chain Reliance On China)
“I have to call it where it came from. It did come from China, so I think it’s a very accurate term,” Trump responded.
“No, it’s not. It’s a very racist term,” Cobert interjected. “If you care so much about naming things from where they came from, then call it ‘bat bite fever,’ which was also the title of the short-lived Ozzy Osbourne musical. Sadly, it was canceled opening night, during intermission. Too many bat bites.”
During his speech to the nation last Wednesday, Trump referred to the coronavirus as being “foreign.” CNN reporter Jim Acosta and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden both said Trump was exhibiting “xenophobia” with his choice of words.
China has been peddling a conspiracy theory that the coronavirus was exported to that country by the U.S. Army.