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Rep. Meng Blasts House GOP Leader McCarthy for “Chinese” Coronavirus Tweet

Rep. Grace Meng and House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy

March 11, 2020 By Allie Griffin

Congresswoman Grace Meng blasted the GOP Leader of the House of Representatives for referring to the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, as the “Chinese” coronavirus on Twitter.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy tweeted a link to the CDC’s website on COVID-19 with the caption “Everything you need to know about the Chinese coronavirus can be found on one, regularly-updated website” on Monday night.

The virus originated in China, but has quickly spread to other countries like Italy, Iran and the U.S. As the coronavirus has spread, an increase in xenophobia and even physical attacks against Asian Americans has spread as well.

Rep. Meng, Vice Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, called McCarthy’s words hurtful and shameful.

“I am shocked and dismayed that the GOP Leader in the House of Representatives has referred to the coronavirus as the ‘Chinese coronavirus,'” she said in a statement. “This labeling of the illness is embarrassing, disrespectful, offensive, and downright disgusting. It is shameful.”

Since the first case of COVID-19 was reported in the U.S., Meng said she warned the public and Members of Congress to not single out the Asian American community.

“But unfortunately, these pleas have not stopped acts of discrimination from taking place across the country, and to now see such blatant disregard from the House Minority Leader is truly stunning,” the Congresswoman said.

She went on to say calling the coronavirus the ‘Chinese coronavirus’ nor the ‘Wuhan virus’ is incorrect and wrong.

“Wrongly inserting ‘Chinese’ into the name of this disease only reinforces the disparaging and negative stereotypes of Asian Americans.”

She also pointed out that there’s likely more GOP members infected than Chinese-Americans within her own circle and workplace.

Meng also called for greater accountability and deference to the truth from media outlets which use unrelated stock photos of Asian Americans wearing masks in their reporting of coronavirus cases.

Last week, both the New York Post and the New York Times used images of Flushing’s Asian community in their articles of the first reported case of COVID-19 — which was neither in Queens or contracted from an Asian country.

(Screenshot from Twitter)

The first case was a healthcare worker in Manhattan who had recently traveled to Iran, one of the hotspots of the virus, and likely contracted coronavirus from that country.

Rep. Meng demanded an apology from McCarthy.

“The Minority Leader must immediately apologize for and stop this dangerous, irresponsible, and insulting manner in which he referred to the coronavirus, and join me in urging all our colleagues to stop these harmful references,” she said.

“Scapegoating and political expediency are never the answer – especially at the expense of respect and responsibility.”

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One Comment

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Anonymous Asian

Huh… What!?

The virus originated from Wuhan China, so isn’t it correct to call it the Chinese Coronavirus?? Almost every single virus are named after where it originated. Ebola from the Ebola River, West Niles, etc…

And I am an Asian myself and I am fine with it.

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