The liberal media’s coverage of the deadly coronavirus outbreak is putting Floridians at risk — the Sunshine State needs accurate and reliable information from the world-class experts in our own government, not news reports that parrot communist China’s talking points.
Ever since President Trump announced his initial travel restrictions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the liberal media has been determined to distort the administration’s actions, accusing the White House of implementing “xenophobic” measures to contain the spread of the disease.
“Trump’s coronavirus speech was laced with xenophobia,” Vox wrote in a recent article responding to the president’s decision to restrict travel from Europe. An analysis published by CNN Editor-at-Large Chris Cillizza suggested that “Donald Trump’s scapegoating coronavirus speech shows he just doesn’t get it.” BuzzFeed News also claimed in a “news report” that the president is “Embracing Xenophobia to Defend Against the Coronavirus.” And the list goes on.
Predictably, liberal pundits and journalists have also taken great offense to the term “Wuhan virus,” insisting that it’s not politically correct to name COVID-19 after its place of origin, the way we’ve done with most disease outbreaks in the past; e.g. the Spanish Flu, Lyme Disease, etc.
“The rhetoric around 2019-nCoV — the ‘Wuhan coronavirus’ — plays on centuries-old racist sentiments against Asians,” Salon wrote last month. Likewise, the Atlantic sought to explain “Why Trump Intentionally Misnames the Coronavirus.” CNN’s Jim Acosta recently asserted that merely mentioning the geographic origin of the coronavirus is “going to come across to a lot of Americans as smacking of xenophobia.”
This narrative directly echoes Beijing’s ongoing propaganda campaign of denying China as the obvious origin of the outbreak. For the past few weeks, some Chinese government officials have even suggested that the U.S. is responsible for the virus — a conspiracy theory that has no basis in reality.
In early March, a high-ranking Chinese diplomat tweeted that, “Although the epidemic first broke out in China, it did not necessarily mean that the virus is originated from China, let alone ‘made in China.’” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Lijian Zhao, later took the conspiracy a step further when he claimed that the CDC “was caught on the spot” and implied that America is deliberately hiding information about the virus.
It was so bad that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had to give his Chinese counterpart a personal tongue-lashing to express America’s outrage at such blatant disinformation and blame-shifting.
“When did patient zero begin in US? How many people are infected? What are the names of the hospitals? It might be US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan. Be transparent! Make public your data! US owe us an explanation!” the official tweeted.
As of March 16, Florida was the fifth hardest-hit state in the early stages of this pandemic. Given that the Sunshine State is home to millions of elderly Americans who are at the greatest health risk from exposure to the virus, Floridians simply don’t have time for lectures on political correctness — we need honest coverage of the coronavirus outbreak so that we can take the appropriate steps as individuals to help limit the spread of the virus.
Regrettably, even some Democrat lawmakers can’t resist the temptation to politicize the virus. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, for instance, recently accused Rep. Kevin McCarthy of spreading “misinformation” by referring to COVID-19 as a “Chinese coronavirus.”
“Bigoted statements which spread misinformation and blame Asians and the Asian American community for #coronavirus make us all less safe,” she tweeted. Sound familiar?
The Wuhan virus should not be used as a political prop by opportunistic politicians or the mainstream media. Echoing China’s talking points won’t help us stop the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, but accurately relaying information from U.S. government experts will.
Dr. Gina Loudon, Ph.D. (@RealDrGina) is a bestselling author, columnist, and frequent news commentator. She is the National Co-Chairwoman of Women for Trump and is on the Donald J. Trump for President Media Advisory Board.