G-7 Statement Scuttled Because the US Insisted on Using Term “Wuhan Virus”

We are governed by the petty and myopic.

“Secretary Pompeo and Secretary Mnuchin Speak to Reporters” by The White House is in the Public Domain, CC0

Via WaPo: G-7 failed to agree on statement after U.S. insisted on calling coronavirus outbreak ‘Wuhan virus’

Foreign ministers representing seven major industrialized nations failed to agree on a joint statement Wednesday after the Trump administration insisted on referring to the coronavirus outbreak as the “Wuhan virus,” three officials from G-7 countries told The Washington Post.

Other nations in the group of world powers rejected the term because they viewed it as needlessly divisive at a time when international cooperation is required to slow the global pandemic and deal with the scarcity of medical supplies, officials said.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has brushed off criticism of his use of the term, saying it’s important to point out that the virus came from the Chinese city of Wuhan and that China’s government had a special responsibility to warn the world about its dangers.

Because, of course, it is worth blowing up a joint communique by insisting on an inflammatory and politically driven adjective.

Pompeo, in his remarks on Wednesday, doubled down on his criticism of Beijing.

“We tried, you’ll remember, from the opening days to get our scientists, our experts on the ground there so that we could begin to assist in the global response to what began there in China, but we weren’t able to do that. The Chinese Communist Party wouldn’t permit that to happen,” he said.

“The Chinese Communist Party poses a substantial threat to our health and way of life, as the Wuhan virus outbreak clearly has demonstrated,” Pompeo added.

Look, I would agree that the Chinese government deserves criticism for their handling of this outbreak (as I would add, does ours). But that does not mean that politicizing the name (and engaging in rhetoric that will increase anti-Chinese prejudice) is a prudent or useful thing to do.

From the Fox News Channel version of the story (Pompeo calls for united ‘message’ after reportedly pushing G-7 members to call it ‘Wuhan virus’):

The term has angered China and some congressional Democrats who argue it has racist undertones and could fuel hate toward Asian-Americans. Public health officials and the World Health Organization have advised against naming human infectious diseases after places of origin.

It is also just a petty way to behave and it clearly is a case of prioritizing the childish, racist rhetoric of President Trump over good and efficacious diplomacy.

FILED UNDER: COVID-19, Health, World Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. jog267 says:

    Per marketwatch.com:

    “China’s state media have been equally involved in spreading skepticism of the virus’s origin. Official Communist Party publication Xinhua has published several articles questioning COVID-19’s provenance, and the state-run Global Times wrote, “As the U.S. COVID-19 situation becomes increasingly obscure, the Chinese public shares the suspicion raised by Zhao Lijian that the U.S. might be the source of the virus and that the U.S. is subject [to] questioning and is obliged to explain [its role to] the world.”

    This type of propaganda must ALWAYS be challenged and countered in every possible way.

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  2. gVOR08 says:

    it clearly is a case of prioritizing the childless, racist rhetoric of President Trump over good and efficacious diplomacy.

    I assume pre spell check you meant childish. But it’s worse than that. It’s rhetoric aimed squarely at shoring Trump up with his base by scapegoating the Chinese. Then it’s subordinating the health of the population to his re-election. Let me restate that, it’s ignoring the health of the public and considering only his re-election. And then we get to Pompeo sacrificing foreign policy not to rhetoric, not even to Trump’s re-election, but to his own careerist need to suck up to Trump.

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  3. gVOR08 says:

    @gVOR08: Not to mention alienating the worlds source for N95 masks.

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  4. reid says:

    The rest of the world must be so sick of having to try to work with these clowns. I’m sorry, world.

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  5. @gVOR08: Yes, “childish”–thanks for noting the error.

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  6. mike shupp says:

    What? You’re criticizing our beloved and highly esteemed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for a few pointed jabs at our Eastasian foes? But these rhetorical flourishes are an essential aspect of diplomatic speech. All government and sense of order would fall apart without such conversational embellishments, leaving naïve citizenry without the necessary clues to score their leaders’ talking points. What use would it be to anyone to refer to the novel coronavirus as simply another disease rather than a hellish Chinese concoction purposely aimed at us pathetic pacifistic Westerners? No innocent American would have any idea of how to respond to such a concept!

    What next? Are you going to draw mean and nasty parallels to the late Reichsminister Joseph Goebbels’ occasional broadcast remarks about Jews?

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  7. mattbernius says:

    This is a prime example of “not in a normal Republican administration.”

    BTW, keep in mind they are playing these tricks, while at the same time, looking to other nations (who they spent the last 3+ years picking fights with) for help:

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/24/politics/trump-seeks-allies-coronavirus-help/index.html

    Galaxy brains ya’ll.

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  8. Scott says:

    One gets so exhausted by these people. Pompeo is one of the worst examples of failing upward.

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  9. jog267 says:

    @mattbernius @mike shupp

    What should our response to this be?

    “Although the origin of the virus may be unknowable for now, the Chinese response was unambiguous. The CCP’s Xinhua news service threatened Americans that they could plunge us into a “mighty sea of coronavirus” since it was they who controlled the supply chain for the active pharmaceutical ingredients used in the production of 90% of our medicines.

    This overt threat to the security of the American people was followed by a government spokesman propagating the lie that the U.S. military created and spread the virus in Wuhan. Their intelligence services also pushed the narrative that they did not even know where the virus came from, that it was likely an invention of the CIA, and that the world should be thankful for the CCP’s quick response. In war, this is what propaganda looks like.”

    Indeed.

    The Trump administration is handling the situation with China very well.

    Trump’s entire governing premise regarding China, the threat it poses, domestic manufacturing and controlling our borders, etc. has been entirely vindicated.

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  10. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Based on this rank pettiness, we should now be calling Trump’s campaign hats, and thus the people that wear them, China Hats…because that is where the hats come from.
    The fact that they are such shitty hats is a complete side issue.

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  11. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @jog267:
    You link to propaganda from the Claremont Institute, whose preeminent issue seems to be small government, based upon their “About” page.
    Trump shrunk the Government, and shuddered the Pandemic Response office in the process.
    This seems far more serious in our current state than a pissing match over where the virus started. Frankly, if I’m on a ventilator I could give a flying fuq where it started…I just want it ended.
    As a China Hat, please discuss how small Government is to respond to major issues such as this pandemic? In addition, Trump has claimed to be a War Time President, yet refuses to use the full power available to him to fight this pandemic. Is the leader of your China Hat party a coward, or simply incompetent?

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  12. Jax says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: I’ll take incompetent AND a coward for $500, Alex. 😉

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  13. mattbernius says:

    @jog267:
    Do you really feel that rejecting WHO guidance and naming a virus after a location in a nation is “holding China accountable” in any significant way? Can you explain what actual punitive action that is taking?

    Or do you actually believe that name calling is our most effective action in this situation?

    And do you feel that whatever punitive gain came from that was worth scuttling a multi-national statement on the Virus? Not to mention alienating the same nations we are also asking for help from?

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  14. mattbernius says:

    To be clear, I think there is a lot we should be doing to exert pressure on China around a wide range of topics – including their culpability in the spread of the virus.

    But deciding, quite recently (as multiple reports have shown, for example), to start calling this the “Wuhan Virus” is the worst form of school yard politics and is largely a play to the more xenophobic and racist members of the presidents base (see above).

    But when you don’t have any qualified diplomats in top positions at State, this is what happens.

    All that said, @jog276, if you can find a single foreign policy or health expert who isn’t “ride or die” Trump (i.e. writing at the Claremont or Federalist, etc) who is putting forward an argument in favor of calling this the “Wuhan Virus” and how it will help control China, share that link. Because so far, I haven’t seen any and I have been looking.

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  15. Liberal Capitalist says:

    This stuff is really just a minor annoyance, to be expected from this administration. This tracks completely with their mindset.

    I am more concerned about Bagdad Bob Trump’s daily news conferences that continue to spread misinformation.

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  16. Jen says:

    Childish and an utterly useless waste of time to push this nonsense. One would think that the Secretary of State would have more pressing concerns than this on his plate.

    My guess is that this is more of an attempt to get the focus off of the mounting death toll here.

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  17. Blue Galangal says:

    @Jen: I am not a conspiracy theorist type but given what we know about Trump’s projection AND his utterly out of the blue “It wasn’t us, by the way” statement in one of those propaganda rallies last week, I’m starting to think the US had something to do with this virus.

    I’m typing this only partly tongue in cheek.

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  18. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Blue Galangal:
    I think it’s just Trump’s insecurities showing, and his base need to be able to blame someone, anyone, else.
    He is obviously failing…he is going to have to blame that failure on someone.

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  19. Kathy says:

    Looked at dispassionately, China does bear a great deal of responsibility for the current pandemic.

    There are two main reasons:

    1) Keeping open the markets selling wild animals’ meat.
    2) Attempting to suppress information about the new virus, until the mounting infection and death tolls forced them to.

    We’ll always catch disease from animals (and viceversa), so long as animals inhabit the Earth. Swine flu came from domesticated swine, after all. But there’s no need to increase our exposure. We’ll get enough when habitat losses and climate change effects drive some wild species into human areas as it is.

    And a timely response might have prevented the pandemic, or ameliorated it. A timely warning would certainly have allowed for better preparations in Asia and Europe.

    But what can be done about it? China is a sovereign nuclear power. You just can’t push them around like the British did in the XIX century. This is the time, again, to come together with other countries to pressure China with coordinated action, sanctions, trade blocks, trade rules, etc. It won’t be easy, it will take time, but it will accomplish something.

    Calling the novel coronavirus “The Wuhan Virus” does nothing constructive.

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  20. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Kathy:

    This is the time, again, to come together with other countries to pressure China with coordinated action, sanctions, trade blocks, trade rules, etc. It won’t be easy, it will take time, but it will accomplish something.

    I doubt it would. You greatly underestimate the “pride” of the Chinese people–especially its government. Pressure applied to China would be shown as proof that the west fears them because they are a great power.

    I was there when there were mass protests–and even a few riots–because a few fishing boats got too close to an empty rock in the middle of the sea.

    China is already pushing out most of the foreign companies. They’d have no problem kicking them all out, seizing their assets, and blocking all trade with Europe and North America.

    Trump is an idiotic temperamental child. Xi is a smart temperamental child.

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  21. Michael Reynolds says:

    @jog267:
    Yes, the Chinese regime lies and produces propaganda. So does the Trump regime.

    Xi lied. So did (does) Trump.

    Xi acted. Trump dawdled.

    Right now we need China a great deal more than they need us.

    The notion that we can somehow box the Chinese in economically is absurd. They are too numerous, too productive, too powerful. If we are smart and lucky we’ll keep the Chinese navy from becoming effective in the Pacific. If we are smart and lucky we’ll keep the Chinese from economically colonizing Indonesia, the Philippines and Australia. There’s nothing we can do to stop them dominating Burma (Myanmar), Laos, Cambodia and Thailand. China is also moving big time in Africa.

    Your fantasy of the world uniting against China runs right into the fact that Trump has no international friends aside from thugs – Putin, Kim Jong Un, Netanyahu, Mohammed Bin Salman. He’s alienated the Europeans. Even Boris is backing away. So, not only ain’t it happening because it’s not possible, even making the attempt is impossible because Trump is a ranting imbecile.

    Now, had Trump tried to rally the world behind a unified strategy to bring China into line with international norms, you might have a case to make. But he did the exact opposite. He picked a fight with China while simultaneously picking a fight with the entire rest of the world aside – of course – from Russia. He is not capable of strategy. He strategizes with all thee sophistication of a toddler trying to steal a cookie.

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  22. Mikey says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    He is not capable of strategy. He strategizes with all thee sophistication of a toddler trying to steal a cookie.

    That’s not fair to toddlers. Sometimes they actually get the cookie.

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  23. @Michael Reynolds:

    He picked a fight with China while simultaneously picking a fight with the entire rest of the world aside – of course – from Russia.

    What, are you saying he isn’t playing three-dimensional chess?

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  24. Fortunato says:

    Per Mike “TrollKing” Pompeo:

    “We tried, you’ll remember, from the opening days to get our scientists, our experts on the ground there so that we could begin to assist in the global response to what began there in China, but we weren’t able to do that. The Chinese Communist Party wouldn’t permit that to happen,” he said.

    No. No I DON’T remember that.
    I remember you clowns IGNORING the Covid-19 outbreak, downplaying its significance and guaranteeing it was all under control. I remember the assurance that those initial 15 cases in the U.S. would soon be 0.
    I remember the promise that with the first warm breeze, this ‘virus thing’ would miraculously disappear (as a cruise ship returning from the warm Caribbean – filled with coronavirus victims – awaited off the coast of California)

    I ALSO remember reading this –
    Mar 23, 2020, Vox (Reuters, Kaiser and others)
    Trump says China “should have told us” about coronavirus. He removed the official meant to do that.
    A US epidemiologist was embedded with the Chinese CDC. The Trump administration discontinued the position.

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  25. Mister Bluster says:

    “It’s going to disappear. One day it’s like a miracle, it will disappear,”
    Supreme Leader and Chairman of the Republican Party Kim Jong-trump

    To borrow a phrase from @jughead267:..This type of propaganda must ALWAYS be challenged and countered in every possible way.

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  26. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    please discuss how small Government is to respond to major issues such as this pandemic?

    I know you meant that comment for Jog, but as probably the only (small-l) libertarian-type around here, I’ll answer it as an honest question.

    Small government handles this sort of thing by having a small, well-trained agency that is in contact with all the “boots on the ground”. They provide oversight and clear direction, listen to the industries (medicine, medical manufacturing, etc.) that will be dealing with the crisis, and coordinate all of that information to go back to the start of the circle. More importantly? They get out of the way and give the front lines what they need.

    I’m doing an interview for the paper in a couple minutes, so I don’t have time to look up the actual numbers, but… the federal government in 1941 was tiny compared to what it is today. And the entire country shifted gears on the fly and did what needed to be done. The government said “This is what we need” and industry said “We’re on it!”

    Small government can handle crises like this–if it’s efficient and focused.

    So… probably ain’t gonna happen anymore.

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  27. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    The small USG handled WW2 and the Depression by becoming a very large government.

    So, your argument is in effect that small government can handle a crisis by turning into large government, but that large government can’t handle crises so should turn back into small government so that it can once again turn into large government. Do I have that right?

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  28. gVOR08 says:

    @Michael Reynolds: And it took five years.

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  29. charon says:

    @Jen:

    My guess is that this is more of an attempt to get the focus off of the mounting death toll here.

    Primarily and mostly careerist ass kissing.

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  30. DrDaveT says:

    @Kathy:

    But what can be done about it? China is a sovereign nuclear power. You just can’t push them around like the British did in the XIX century.

    Fortunately, they signed a treaty promising not to do these things, and that treaty specifies how damages are to be collected.

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  31. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    The government became bigger during WWII but nothing compared to what it is today. The real increase happened from the 60s onward.

    In 1950 (after WWII) Industry employed 3 times as many (civilian) people as the government did (approx 15m & 5M respectively). As of 1992 (the latest I could find numbers for) the US government employs more people than industry.

    In 1948 (again, after WWII) per capita government spending was $2,259.79 (adjusted). As of today it’s about $12,000

    We exited WWII with a government that was 1/3 the size it is now in terms of employment, and which spent about 18% of what it does today. At the height of WWII (1943-44)–while in full war-production mode–the federal government spent 2/3 of what it does today.

    When I talk about smaller government, I like to bring up this: In the late 90’s I lived in Norfolk, VA. The newspapers were filled with articles about the Navy (of course). The one that I remember had to do with the hard-bottom, inflatable landing craft the Navy (and Marines) use. Before that point, the RFQ for those boats was over 300 pages. The average price of one of those boats (without the motor) was over $30k.

    The Navy made a change. They created a committee of a dozen or so people–including non-coms who would be using the final product–and asked them to review the RFQ. The result was a 30(ish)-page document that listed only the final requirements (what the boat had to do). The bids came in at around $3k/boat.

    Small, efficient government that knows how to work with industry can make things happen.

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  32. Michael Reynolds says:

    The usual go-to responses to the pandemic are not applicable. This is not an attack, it’s not an invasion. Yes, China should shut down its wildlife markets, but then you could also blame Africa for having an unfortunate environment (where disease is concerned) and for being underdeveloped. Except of course that a big part of why Africa is underdeveloped is the actions of UK, France and Belgium, for starters.

    And who is to blame for anti-biotic resistance? Why, that would be us, and our profit-driven decision to pump livestock full of antibiotics. The next pandemic may be on us.

    Of course this is also true of my go-to response which tends to be, “OK, I’ll live somewhere else.” And that virus free somewhere else would be? Antarctica, which aside from bad weather, has zero decent hotels.

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  33. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    Make a list of all the large, successful nation states with small governments. Spoiler: ain’t no such animal.

    Our insistence on small government left us initially powerless to arrest the Depression. The American Depression dragged the rest of the world down with us and directly aided extremism, most notably in Germany.

    We have a large government because large government is necessary. I refer you to paragraph 1 above. Every large, successful nation has a large government. That’s not an accident, it is a necessary symbiosis. The small government fantasy is simply that, a fantasy. Our problem is not that our government is too big, but that our voters are uneducated in history and prone to believe nonsense.

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  34. Mikey says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    We exited WWII with a government that was 1/3 the size it is now in terms of employment, and which spent about 18% of what it does today. A the height of WWII (1943-44)–while in full war-production mode–the federal government spent 2/3 of what it does today.

    Dude…the federal government spent 47% of GDP at the height of WW2. It doesn’t even spend half of that today.

    In 1949 we had about 2 million federal civilian employees, today we have about 2.8 million. So your number seems a bit…off.

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  35. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    The bids came in at around $3k/boat.

    I do not believe you.
    Please provide a link to an inflatable landing craft for $3,000.
    And if you cannot, then your entire theory is flawed.
    Someone the other day used Seal Team 6 as an example of the same thing.
    Seal Team 6 is actually the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (NSWDG), commonly known as DEVGRU. It is 1,800 people strong. The Team you think of as shooting Bin Laden is just the tip of the spear.
    The Pandemic Office should have been the tip of the spear; marshaling the entire strength of the Federal Government. Unfortunately someone thought they weren’t needed…because, Small Government.

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  36. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Those are not as good an anecdote as you think they are. Both the 30k and the 3k are budget dust to the USG. The thing I never get about you small government cultists is you never quantify under your own framework what the actual size the government should be. How many excess civil servants do we have and what are those excess people doing that either dont need to be done or are redundant? BTW the country is twice as populous as it was in the 50s.

    Seriously how small and efficient do you think your model agency should be to coordinate a nation response which you acknowledge should provide oversight and coordination between the national and state government, health service providers, and commercial medical suppliers….across 50 states?

    For comparison, FEMA has about 11000+ employees. Are they bloated and inefficient as well?

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  37. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: I can guarantee that even if he is correct, a 3K landing boat was never fielded for operational use. You couldn’t even Mil Spec a store-bought inflatable for that little money. I have worked in acquisitions in the Spec Ops world. There equipment is life supporting, no fail systems that have to perform under extreme conditions and potentially under fire. You think an acquisitions professional is going endanger a team’s life by putting them in a boat that costs less than something similar you could by in Dick’s?

    Actually the support number is larger than the 1800. The Navy and DevGru are the Stateside train, organize, and equip portions of the mission. Once the team deploys, they are supported by thousands of enablers in the Operational Command who are also deployed that provide the necessary intelligence, logistics, medical, and transportation for them to be the economy of force they are. That number is far larger than 1800…its closer to 5000

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  38. mattbernius says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    There equipment is life supporting, no fail systems that have to perform under extreme conditions and potentially under fire. You think an acquisitions professional is going endanger a team’s life by putting them in a boat that costs less than something similar you could by in Dick’s?

    Along those same lines, I always have to smile a bit when I run into some “tacticool/survivalist” guy who is kitted out to the nines in cheap mall ninja gear.

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  39. gVOR08 says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    He is not capable of strategy. He strategizes with all thee sophistication of a toddler trying to steal a cookie.

    Sorry Michael, I think he strategizes quite well. Right now hes doing a good job of setting himself up as the defender of normalcy and the economy against blue governors and elitist experts. He won’t do anything, but that doesn’t matter.

    We accuse conservatives of projection. But we all make the mistake of thinking other people are like ourselves. You have some sense of responsibility, empathy, intellectual integrity, whatever. We fail to appreciate that Trump is utterly indifferent to doing the job of President. For him the coronavirus and our relationship with China matter only in how they affect his reelection.

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  40. Tyrell says:

    I have not heard of any complaints about the use of the terms Spanish Flu, MERS virus, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, West Nile Virus, Lyme Disease, Ebola virus, Legionnaires disease, or German measles. What’s the deal?

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  41. Matt says:

    @Tyrell: Well MERS is not a country/city nor is the rocky mountains nor the west nile nor lyme nor ebola nor legionnaires and I didn’t even know what German measles was supposed to be because I’ve never heard the term. Turns out that German measles is most commonly called Rubella which of course I did know. Although I am used to the Spanish flu being called the 1918 flu you’ve got a point there. So we have to go back over 100 years to find a case supporting your argument….

    Then there’s the fact that SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) is very VERY closely related to SARS-CoV-1 (the OG SARS) so that’s a valid reason to not use a city name. Hell I’m still annoyed they called the disease COVID-19 in an attempt to hide the similarities between SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV-1.

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  42. DrDaveT says:

    @Matt:

    nor lyme

    Minor irrelevant correction: Lyme disease is in fact named for the towns of Lyme and Old Lyme, Connecticut. It was a cluster of cases there that led to the first modern epidemiology of the disease, though it had been described in detail in other places in the past (including the tick vector).

    Not that this in any way makes it OK or useful to refer to COVID-19 as “Wuhan virus”.

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  43. KM says:

    @Tyrell:
    Because it’s being used in a racist way and there’s no reason to pour oil on flames. If, *IF*, people could use the terms without judgment the same way you’re tossing Spanish flu about – you mad at Spain? – then it wouldn’t be “a big deal”. If people could be adults and not try to use it as a propaganda, you might have a case.

    HOWEVER, since you ask the question in bad faith (wording always gives you away) it shows you really don’t care about what it’s called, only that you can’t call it the thing you want since you know it’s problematic. Which leads to the question – *why* do you want to call it a contentious, blame-assigning name when both the scientific and laymen’s term is arguably easier for the average American to pronounce? Almost everyone knows how to say corona but I’ve heard people struggle with Wuhan. Why not use the easy to remember one, the one we’ve all been using for months now? It’s not even the original term when this whole thing became global news; Corona’s what we’ve been calling it from damn near day one and COVID-19 once they started seeing the illness unfold. Why suddenly do you think “Wuhan virus” is a thing…. unless somebody’s trying to make it a thing.

    Sooo… what’s the big deal with you not calling it the proper name? What’s so hard about that?

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  44. charon says:

    @gVOR08:

    Sorry Michael, I think he strategizes quite well.

    Wrong. He has frontotemporal dementia which has destroyed tthe part of his brain that does judgment, planning , prioritizing – he is effectively lobotomized.

    And Michael is right about him being an imbecile, his dementia has already produced cognitive impairment to the point he no longer is intelligent enough to grade as a moron.

    What he does have remaining is his habitual behaviors, that which he always does, which is what you are seeing.

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  45. Matt says:

    @DrDaveT: Oh that is definitely relevant. I did a search on it and I didn’t turn up any of that story. Granted that search was done in haste.

    Thank you for that interesting bit of history.

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  46. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    The Spanish Flu is one of the worst examples that can be pulled up, historically. It almost certainly started somewhere else. The US being one of the leading candidates–the first absolutely confirmed cases were in US Army training bases. Some recent research in the last few years theorizes it might have started, ironically, in China, though I don’t think that’s the widely accepted view yet.

    It became known as Spanish Flu simply because of WW1 related censorship. Western countries in the fight (including the US, France, UK, etc) tried hard to limit news related to disease killing people. Neutral countries, like Spain, thus reported on it more frequently and accurately. This ended up giving a false impression that it was worse in Spain or started there, but neither is actually true.

    In other words Tyrell, saying this is just like naming like the Spanish flu is actually saying it started elsewhere but we just want to blame China because of censorship.

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  47. Kathy says:

    @KM:

    But then how are all the China hats supposed to distract attention form the Trump Global Recession?

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  48. Tyrell says:

    @KM:I haven’t been using the term. The first time I saw it was when a CNN commentator was using it.

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  49. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Tyrell:

    I haven’t been using the term.

    Then why bring up the issue? The explanation for why it was problematic was addressed in both the original article and in the comments from the author of the post. Why do you want to carry Trump’s water for him when he and his Secretary of State are obviously being a$$holes? Do you like the idea of the US as global douchebag?

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  50. Michael Reynolds says:

    @gVOR08:

    We fail to appreciate that Trump is utterly indifferent to doing the job of President. For him the coronavirus and our relationship with China matter only in how they affect his reelection.

    Actually, before anyone here, I was calling Trump a psychopath, incapable of empathy, incapable of caring about anyone but himself. What you see in Trump is not strategy, it’s the psychopath’s instincts. A great white shark is not smart, it does however have well-honed instincts that allow it to be deadly. That’s Trump – a shark. Dangerous and stupid.

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