Posted, discussed and more or less settled here in mid-March. Re-discussed this evening (Friday, 4.10) on Real Time with Bill Maher.
“Fair Reference,” posted on 3.17.20: HE agrees that Trump calling COVID-19 the “Chinese virus” doesn’t help anyone or anything. CDC officials are correct in saying that this kind of terminology “stigmatizes residents” of China, etc. ￼
But it’s also fair to note that with the exception of H1N1 and maybe one or two others, nearly all viruses over the last few decades have been routinely identified by their geographical origin.
There’s no denying that COVID-19 is widely believed to have originated in a “wet” wildlife market in Wuhan, and specifically from bats or snakes. Trump has earned his racist credentials over and over, but if he’d used the term “Wuhan virus” he wouldn’t have been wrong.
Was it stigmatizing to acknowledge that the Ebola virus partly originated in Yambuku (Democratic Republic of the Congo), “a village near the Ebola River from which the disease takes its name”? Or to acknowledge that the Zika virus came “from the Ziika Forest of Uganda, where the virus was first isolated in 1947”? Or to say that the West Nile virus “was discovered in Uganda in 1937″?
Was there an anti-white-person motive when Lyme disease “was diagnosed as a separate condition for the first time in 1975 in Old Lyme, Connecticut”? Have CDC officials ever said that the term “stigmatizes” residents of that Connecticut town? Just asking.