In this Jan. 22, 2020, photo released on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, by China’s Xinhua News Agency, medical workers of the Union Hospital with the Tongji Medical College of the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan participate in a ceremony to form an “assault team” to battle against a coronavirus epidemic in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei Province, Jan. 23, 2020. China closed off a city of more than 11 million people Thursday in an unprecedented effort to try to contain a deadly new viral illness that has sickened hundreds and spread to other cities and countries in the Lunar New Year travel rush. (Cheng Min/Xinhua via AP)
Media flipped out today because Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) referred to the coronavirus as the “Wuhan Virus” when he said he was self-quarantining after he and three members of his staff had contact with a person who had the virus at CPAC. Gosar and his staff show no signs of the virus but they are trying to be cautious.
But what was media’s reaction? Calling it the Wuhan virus was suddenly “racist,” as my colleague Bonchie reported.
Just astoundingly gross to call it the Wuhan Virus. https://t.co/cMrsA59xTH
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) March 9, 2020
This of course is nonsense.
The virus originated in Wuhan. History is replete for thousands of years with diseases being named after the places from which they originated – Lyme disease, Ebola virus, Zika virus, West Nile virus and on and on.
Indeed, media had been calling it Wuhan virus from the start.
Furthermore, as Townhall notes, there’s a pretty good reason why we shouldn’t forget that.
The narrative to completely divorce the city of Wuhan from the virus is also exactly what the authoritarian Chinese government wants. They want people to forgot the whole reason why the world is dealing with a global outbreak is because of their slow and botched attempts to contain the virus, despite warning from medical professionals on the ground at the beginning of the disease.
As Xiao Qiang, adjunct professor at the University of California at Berkeley’s School of Information, told the Washington Post, there’s an all out campaign by China to deflect the anger of their own people over how the government covered things up and went after whistleblowers. That effort includes promoting conspiracy claims including that the Wuhan virus “originated in the United States, China’s not to blame for the global crisis, the U.S. is hiding the number of coronavirus deaths in the U.S. and on and on,” according to Townhall.
Xiao Qiang said that the conspiracies were all over WeChat and Weibo. “It’s more than just some disinformation or an official narrative,” he explained. “It’s an orchestrated, all-out campaign by the Chinese government through every channel at a level you rarely see. It’s a counteroffensive.”
The frenzy kicked into overdrive Feb. 27 after Zhong Nanshan, a Chinese pulmonologist who has appeared on state media to deliver key pronouncements, made a passing remark during a news conference, without offering any explanation, that “the coronavirus first appeared in China but may not have originated in China.” […]
The rumor mill ramped up. Influential Weibo accounts such as “Beijing Things” circulated a Taiwanese television clip showing a pharmacologist speculating about the United States as the contagion’s origin. Writers at popular outlets on WeChat churned out theses laying out how the U.S. military could have deployed the pathogen as a clandestine bioweapon during a trip to Wuhan in October.
By Wednesday, Zhong’s comments came full circle. Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian did not speculate as to the virus’s origin or name any countries, but he cited Zhong’s comments to conclude that China was never proven to be the origin.
We still don’t know what has happened to whistleblowers who risked their lives to get the information out to us.
So this isn’t just about pointing out something where the left is being ridiculous, calling something racist when it isn’t.
It’s about fighting back against an effort by China to divorce themselves of responsibility for action here and attack the U.S., an effort which media helps when they try to paper over the Chinese origination of the problem.
So call it Wuhan Virus, because it originated there. Call it Wuhan Virus so the Chinese government can’t cover it up. Most of all, call it Wuhan Virus because there are folks who risked everything to tell us what was happening in Wuhan and the world community should not forget them. Maybe if we remember that, we will remember we need answers as to what happened to these people, and don’t allow China to cover this up.
#CHINA : Where is Chen Quishi? This is the question being asked by the family of this freelance journalist who has been missing ever since his arrest on 6 February for covering the #coronavirus crisis in the city of Wuhan. Like Chen, many other whistleblowers have disappeared… pic.twitter.com/IhTOh2KmZO
— RSF (@RSF_inter) March 6, 2020
Just a reminder that, as Beijing boasts about how effective its #coronavirus containment policies have been, three citizen journalists from #Wuhan have disappeared and no one knows where they are: https://t.co/wOSq0SDb9T #chenquishi #fangbin #LiZehu
— David Gilbert (@daithaigilbert) March 9, 2020
MSNBC's Chris Hayes rushes in to defend communist China, which:
-Lied about the virus
-Stopped the WHO from entering for weeks; still has not let CDC in
-Forcing Uyghurs to work in factories right now (same people they have locked in concentration camps) https://t.co/pf4NmscWzb
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) March 9, 2020
Contrary to the absurd idea that #wuhanvirus is a racist term, it may be a necessary one to prevent an Orwellian rewrite of history underway by some in PRC, as noted by @washingtonpost: https://t.co/5Wlic0cfPO
— Hugh Hewitt (@hughhewitt) March 9, 2020