As COVID-19 spreads around the world and the President is facing countless critiques connected to his early mismanagement of the crisis, there are still some pro-Trump news networks that feel the most important thing to ask him about is whether it's racist to call Chinese food "Chinese."
One of the controversies accompanying the President's handling of this national health emergency has been his insistence on referring to COVID-19 as the "Chinese virus," even going so far as to cross out "corona" and replacing it with "Chinese" on a recent press briefing document.
Trump's motivations for this clarification are obvious.
Though the virus has now moved far beyond its origins in the Wuhan province of China, the President feels it would be politically beneficial if Americans blamed the extent of their current situation on another country rather than his own incompetence and cuts to agencies and programs made to support his border wall and tax breaks for the wealthy.
Trump's repeated attempts to label the virus as uniquely Chinese have been decried as racist by those who understand that COVID-19 has no national or racial affiliation. Any attempts to argue in favor of the racist label are, at best, misinformed and, at worst, manipulative.
No matter where the virus gained enough of a foothold to create a public health crisis, it's a global issue now and trying to connect it to a specific type of person only serves to create unfounded fear and inspires acts of racist harassment and violence. Besides, China's cases of COVID-19 are now in decline, as opposed to U.S. cases which are dramatically rising.
Always more focused on the outrage of the moment, however, Trump and his propaganda team have seized upon calling the virus Chinese. Flrdgling right-wing pro-Trump OAN (One America News network) also feels that's the story that deserves the most attention.
At a recent press conference, an OAN correspondent asked Trump (who praised her network as being "very good...they treat me very nicely") whether the term "Chinese food" was also racist.
This same reporter went on to accuse other news networks in the room of spreading Chinese propaganda, saying:
"And on that note. Major left-wing news media, even in this room, have teamed up with Chinese Communist Party narratives, and they are claiming that you are racist for making these claims about Chinese virus."
"Is it alarming that major media players, just to oppose you, are consistently siding with foreign state propaganda, Islamic state radicalism, Latin gangs and cartels? And they work right here at the White House with direct access to you and your team?"
It doesn't take a brilliant genius to see through the "logic" of the reporter's question.
There are about ten thousand more important questions serious reporters should be asking before this one.
Meanwhile, the same reporter who accused her colleagues of spreading Chinese propaganda was revealed to be spreading actual Chinese propaganda herself several days prior.
Reporting like this isn't going to be winning Pulitzer Prizes anytime soon.
Many suggested the question was clearly planned beforehand with the White House to take some heat off the President, pointing to an earlier tweet from the reporter suggesting there would be "fireworks" during the press conference.
The reporter claimed even her coworkers weren't very happy with her performance, posting about one of them leaving a passive aggressive note on her desk.
Whether it actually happened or if this is just more propaganda—trying to paint herself as a victim—is unclear.
Ultimately, OAN's attempts to justify more racist behavior by the President—which has already lead to verbal and physical attacks against Asians in the United States—is just a waste of time and energy.
America is in the midst of a national emergency and the President seems more focused on his own political upside than the wellbeing of the people of the United States.