It Comes from China

Dr. Malcolm Cross

It was inevitable.  For weeks President Trump had been criticized by leftists for allegedly bungling America’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.  He was charged with not taking the pandemic seriously enough, for saying it would likely go away by itself, and for failing to take steps to adequately prepare America for its coming ordeal.  He was given little credit for promptly limiting entry into the United States for travelers from other countries, especially China.  And just as he’s beginning to win some degree of praise for his change of tone, for his abandonment of happy talk in favor of the blunt expression of hard facts, and for his decisiveness in directing federal aid to state and local governments—his actions have won the approval of no less than New York’s Democratic Governor, Andrew Cuomo, and California’s Democratic Governor, Gavin Newsom—he’s hit with a new charge:  Racism, for calling the coronavirus the “Chinese virus.”

On the face of it, President Trump’s reason for calling the coronavirus the Chinese virus would seem reasonable enough:  As he put it, “It comes from China.”  Moreover, he evidently believes it important to refute one of the nastier lies being slobbered about by the Chinese government:  According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, the coronavirus was produced and released by the United States Army.  No doubt the Chinese government would love to call the virus the “American virus” if it could get away with doing so.

Yet President Trump’s critics say that by calling the coronavirus the “Chinese virus,” he’s inducing racist outrage against Americans of Chinese descent, as well as against Americans descended from other oriental nationalities as well.  They cite instances of assaults by racist bigots against American citizens who, whatever their ethnicity, are absolutely blameless for the plague unleashed on us.  This, of course, is standard operating procedure for the President’s critics, who do their best to trace any act of racism anywhere in the world—for example, the mass murder of New Zealand Muslims by the disciple of a Norwegian mass murderer—to the President’s words and deeds.  No evidence that the bigots who are praying on Americans of oriental descent are actually motivated by the President is necessary.

Nonetheless, President Trump should follow the advice of several more even-tempered conservative critics and link the virus not to “the Chinese” per se, but to the Chinese Communist Party.  One suggested the term “CCP virus.”  I personally like “ChiCom virus.”  

Adopting a new name for the coronavirus will probably not diminish the degree with which the President’s critics try to attach the “racist” label to him, but it may help focus more attention—and blame—on the true villain of the piece.  After all, it is the Chinese Communist Party which has created a brutal totalitarian dictatorship.  Like other totalitarian regimes, the chief goal of the CCP’s dictatorship is to maintain complete control over the people it rules, and major tactics are to permit no dissent and admit no error.  The first scientist to try to alert the world to the dangers of the coronavirus was arrested, taken into custody, and silenced until he conveniently died–standard operating procedure in a totalitarian regime.

Of course, America’s top priorities must be to slow the spread of the coronavirus; to provide more facilities, equipment, and medicines to treat its victims; and ultimately to find and implement a cure.  But given the Chinese government’s negligence, bungling incompetence, and overall mendacity—too put it as charitably as I can–in its initial reaction to the onset of this virus, a full accounting of its actions must someday be made.  After all, as someone once said of the coronavirus, “It comes from China.”

Malcolm L. Cross has lived in Stephenville and taught politics and government at Tarleton since 1987. His political and civic activities include service on the Stephenville City Council (2000-2014) and on the Erath County Republican Executive Committee (1990 to the present).  He was Mayor Pro Tem of Stephenville from 2008 to 2014.  He is a member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and the Stephenville Rotary Club, and does volunteer work for the Boy Scouts of America. Views expressed in this column are his and do not reflect those of The Flash as a whole.

1 Comment


    ‘Spent weeks minimizing the problem’: Fox’s Tucker Carlson rips Trump team on coronavirus
    03/10/2020 11:06 am ET

    Fox News host Tucker Carlson just called out the Trump administration Monday night for botching the coronavirus crisis. And we have a list of everything Trump and his team have done wrong.

    While Carlson did throw some shade at the left and utter a few racist comments, he strongly criticized the “people you probably voted for” in the segment. Sure sounds like he means Trump and Pence.

    The Fox host slammed those who say “it’s just like the flu” and not big deal: “But they’re wrong. The Chinese coronavirus is a major event.”

    The “corona-flu”
    Trump and Hannity are terrified John Bolton might testify
    Source: Screenshot / Fox News

    Carlson didn’t name names, but he did say, “It’s definitely not just the flu.”

    This was clearly aimed at Trump, who called the virus the “corona flu” while being interviewed by Fox’s Sean Hannity. That’s a further attempt to minimize the virus and its death rate, which is vastly greater than the flu’s.

    Yup – people made fun of him for calling this the “Corona Flu” the other day. It wasn’t a senior moment. It was an intentional re-framing. 4 years of this and people still underestimate how calculating he actually is.

    — Jon Niola (@JonNiola) March 7, 2020

    He has a “hunch”
    Experts slam media for helping reelect Trump
    Source: Flickr/Evan Guest

    Trump also discussed his “hunch” with Hannity that the fatality rates reported by the WHO were incorrect. He has no data to back that statement up…it is just something he fancies.

    President Trump is disputing a new World Health Organization report that 3.4% of people who contract the coronavirus die from it – citing only his “hunch.

    — USA TODAY (@USATODAY) March 5, 2020

    Go to work
    ‘Bad omen for impeachment’: Even close Trump allies know Tuesday election results were a disaster
    Source: Flickr/the White House

    In addition to sharing his hunches, Trump also had some novel advice for Hannity’s listeners: go ahead and work. The President claimed that the virus was so mild thousands of people would get better without missing work or their regular activities.

    Trump Claims Thousands Could Still Go To Work With Coronavirus And Get Better

    — Amber (@AmberD1116) March 6, 2020

    Doesn’t understand vaccines
    A ‘brazen attack’:Trump wants to cut disability benefits for hundreds of thousands of people
    Source: Screenshot / YouTube

    At a meeting with pharma executives, Trump appeared to not understand how vaccines work or why they couldn’t just us a flu vaccine to combat coronavirus. It took those in the meeting some time to explain that medicines have to go through clinical testing before becoming available to the public.

    “So you have a medicine that’s already involved with the coronaviruses, and now you have to see if it’s specifically for this. You can know that tomorrow, can’t you?” — Trump has no idea what a clinical trial is

    — Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 2, 2020

    Called it a hoax
    Trump Rally
    Source: Flickr/The Epoch Times

    At one of his recent rallies, Trump called the coronavirus pandemic a “hoax” claiming that the Democrats are pushing a narrative to hurt his reelection chances.

    Why are GOP Congressmen self quarantining if the coronavirus is a hoax?

    — Bryce Tache ?? (@brycetache) March 10, 2020

    Lying about tests
    ‘His lies aren’t working’: Latest polls show majority of likely voters want Trump removed from office
    Source: Flickr/Gage Skidmore

    Trump has put Vice President Pence in charge of handling the coronavirus efforts, but that isn’t stopping him from throwing around misinformation.

    While Pence is telling reporters “We don’t have enough tests today to meet what we anticipate will be the demand going forward,” Trump is reassuring them that we have enough tests for everyone—tests that are as perfect as his call with Ukraine.

    The tests are not “perfect.” Nor was the Ukraine call or the transcript. Trump is spreading disinformation while Azar & these other complicit tools stand there like sheep. If they had a shred of honor or respect for truth or human life they’d speak out.

    — Steven Beschloss (@StevenBeschloss) March 9, 2020

    It surely is a strange turn of events when Tucker Carlson is urging the Trump administration to “tell the truth.”

    ‘We think we have ideas’: Trump’s clueless rant at coronavirus briefing ends with right-wing China conspiracy
    03/20/2020 11:02 am ET • John See
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    ‘Bad omen for impeachment’: Even close Trump allies know Tuesday election results were a disaster
    Source: Flickr/the White House


    Toward the end of a sprawling, 77-minute coronavirus press briefing President Trump was asked whether the term “Chinese food” is racist.

    That was a bizarre ending to a briefing that, according to Vox, demonstrated an extraordinary failure of leadership.

    Trump rambles, blusters, and boasts
    Trump’s organization bribed officials to pay lower property taxes, damning new report says
    Source: Flickr/Gage Skidmore

    Vox called the President out on his “boastful rants”:

    “Trump went on long, boastful rants, talked about unrelated topics, and joked about kicking journalists out of daily press briefings. At times, it was unclear what Trump was talking about at all.”

    Bringing the racism
    Maga hats
    Source: Screenshot / Business Insider

    Trump didn’t inspire Americans to come together or condemn anti-Asian violence. Instead, as NBC reports, the term “coronavirus” was replaced by “Chinese virus” in his talking points.

    President Trump was photographed reading from notes at a press briefing in which the word “corona” was replaced with “Chinese” to described COVID-19.

    — NBC News (@NBCNews) March 19, 2020

    Where are the experts?
    Republicans embrace Big Pharma over lower drug prices after Democrats pass bill
    Source: Unsplash

    And, while the FDA Commissioner and others present were qualified to provide information about a vaccine timeline or the potential of antivirals, Trump and his ego hogged the mic so he could name-check a drugmaker and (almost) pronounce the names of medicines:

    So, Regeneron, again, and — is some — is a company that’s done fantastically well, as I understand, with Ebola and some other things. Great company. And they’re looking at some very promising events also. So you have remdesivir and you have chloroquine and hydro — hydroxychloroquine. So those are two that are out now, essentially approved for prescribed use.

    It will be some amount of time
    TikTok user illustrates wealth gap—using rice 1
    Source: Canva

    Asked about how long Americans can expect to hunker down, Trump sputters and struggles, coughing up what physician John M. Talmadge calls a “rambling, tangential non-answer.”

    #Presidementia Press Briefing today: Trump was asked how long before Americans could return to normal. Here is his rambling, tangential non-answer unredacted from the WH website. “We think we have ideas.” This is cognitive impairment. #TrumpNotFitForOffice

    — John M. Talmadge, MD (@JohnMTalmadgeMD) March 20, 2020

    Then things get weird

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