After a week of defending his use of the term “Chinese virus,” for COVID-19, Donald Trump said Asian Americans should be protected from the xenophobic attacks.
“It is very important that we totally protect our Asian American community in the United States, and all around the world. They are amazing people, and the spreading of the Virus is NOT their fault in any way, shape, or form,” Trump tweeted Monday before his daily White House Press conference.
“They are working closely with us to get rid of it,” Trump added. “WE WILL PREVAIL TOGETHER!”
Trump’s insistence in calling the coronavirus the “Chinese virus,” goes against the recommendations of the World Health Organization and the guidelines put forth by the US Centers for Disease Control. He was widely blamed for fomenting the anti-Asian sentiment arising from the coronavirus.
The xenophobia has sprouted numbers of attacks against Asian Americans, from verbal abuse to physical altercations, from being spit on to being beaten.
Hours later, Trump repeated what he tweeted at a press conference during which he avoided saying “Chinese virus.” Trump added that Asian Americans were “incredible” and that they may have been subjected to “nasty language” in recent days.
“I don’t like that at all,” Trump added.
In a briefing last week, Trump denied that the term “Chinese virus” was racist.
“It’s not racist at all,” Trump shrugged in response after a reporter told him that many people consider it racist. “It comes from China, that’s why.”
Trump’s apparent turnabout on his language surrounding the coronavirus may be hollow, though, say his critics.
Observers noted that Trump referred to Asian Americans as “they” and other Americans as “us,” thus perpetuating the stereotype of Asian Americans as the perpetual foreigner or outsider.
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