‘Chinese Virus’ causes backlash on Asian Americans


Creative Commons image through Common Dreams by Jabin Botsford

President Donald Trump calls COVID-19 the “Chinese Virus.” His reference occurs at many events such as the White House meeting and various news conferences.

Julie Xiong, Cartoonist

On March 18, President Donald Trump referred to COVID-19 as the “Chinese Virus.” This term began gaining popularity when Trump tweeted, earlier that morning, about his methods of saving America from COVID-19. President Trump stated it is not racist at all; it [the virus] came from China and he wants to be accurate. But, it is the complete opposite. Trump spoke falsely about the matter. His words have offended and caused hate crimes towards Asian Americans.

“Why does Trump think that he can call this the ‘Chinese Virus’, and make it seem like only Asian people can have and spread the Coronavirus? The president himself could have prevented fewer cases in the U.S. and slowed the spread but I guess he’s too busy calling it the ‘Chinese Virus’ to do so,” freshman Faith Yang said.

Shortly after Trump referenced COVID-19 as the “Chinese Virus,” Asian Americans became the target for xenophobic attacks. Many physical and verbal assaults occurred against Asian Americans. 

Freshman Kendra Sapino explained she has read about ambushes, hate speeches, death threats and even a couple of killings have happened towards Asian Americans. 

In addition, a lot of Asian American families are afraid to even step foot outside of the safety of their homes. The news plays a huge role in informing all these attacks and emphasizes the direct target of Asian Americans.

“Personally, it has affected my family quite a bit. My mother is scared to leave the house to go buy groceries, knowing that someone could threaten her because she is Asian and a woman. Seeing how so many Asian Americans are put into a position where blame is put on them for a “Chinese Virus” when there is no intention of it. My heart breaks knowing my parents are facing difficulties going to a public place,” sophomore Kenzie Vang said. 

Social media has also played a role in spreading the incidents of Asian American hate crimes. Although there is an array of both positive and negative feedback about this topic, a lot of promotion and awareness has been spreading through social media. Hopefully, this contributes to minimizing the backlash Asian Americans are experiencing.

“Why does Trump think that he can call this the ‘Chinese Virus’, and make it seem like only Asian people can have and spread the Coronavirus?””

— Faith Yang

“I did post on my Instagram story about how Asian people are getting backlash,” Yang said. “I also replied to someone’s highly racist comment that stated how this is an excuse to be racist to Asians. I did these things to educate the uneducated.”

COVID-19 has no correlation to race; anyone is susceptible to it. Besides the fact, it was first founded in China, China was not the cause of COVID-19, but coincidentally was the first country to discover the disease.

“The disease spreads through relocation diffusion; anyone is susceptible to either spread or contain it no matter what features/characteristics they have like race, ethnicity and age.” To add on, you could arguably say “the continual spread through the U.S. comes from the lack of preparedness, lack of education, failure in compliance to safety guides and panic,” Sapino said.

Trump’s name-calling of the “Chinese Virus” caused many negative outcomes and trauma within the U.S. alone. His actions created a continuous chain of reactions, and even with Trump’s admitted faults, his actions will continue to be remembered.

“President Trump calling COVID-19 the ‘Chinese Virus’ is disrespectful. Targeting a group of people and labeling a virus as such is disgusting. China has not done anything harmful and in fact, has been doing so much more improvements during this pandemic,” Vang said.