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.
Close up of President @realDonaldTrump notes is seen where he crossed out "Corona" and replaced it with "Chinese" V… https://t.co/bBt6eldX86— Jabin Botsford (@Jabin Botsford)1584641177.0
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.
OAN asked Trump if the term "Chinese food" is racist https://t.co/MYShtHkaeb— jordan (@jordan)1584636659.0
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?"
Question from pro-Trump person somehow in the briefing room: Q: Do you consider the term “Chinese food” racist? Ma… https://t.co/Pw5sQJPYyH— Scott Dworkin (@Scott Dworkin)1584636657.0
It doesn't take a brilliant genius to see through the "logic" of the reporter's question.
Oooh. OAN with the awesome logic. If "Chinese food" isn't racist, why is "Chinese virus" racist? Food = good, nour… https://t.co/mU0sAlM5eF— Bob Cesca (@Bob Cesca)1584636283.0
Trump takes question from far-right OAN personality who asks if term "Chinese food" is racist, mocking those who ta… https://t.co/F0v2FNJnwy— Oliver Darcy (@Oliver Darcy)1584636776.0
An OAN reporter actually just asked with a straight face if saying "Chinese Food" is racist. We have some of the m… https://t.co/UZYK2ZKq9q— Caleb Hull (@Caleb Hull)1584637027.0
There are about ten thousand more important questions serious reporters should be asking before this one.
thanks chanel as i worry about the health & wellbeing of my friends & family who don't have insurance & wonder if a… https://t.co/C2rQKPiXdq— jordan (@jordan)1584644235.0
Meanwhile, the same reporter who accused her colleagues of spreading Chinese propaganda was revealed to be spreading actual Chinese propaganda herself several days prior.
These right-wing media outlets want to bash China and bow to Trump, but they ironically sound exactly like Chinese… https://t.co/ABkwHEmGTV— Lee Fang (@Lee Fang)1584638350.0
This is the nitwit who asked the President of the United States about Chinese food and made him happy today https://t.co/SJlngSx1Bh— Tom Nichols (@Tom Nichols)1584664203.0
Reporting like this isn't going to be winning Pulitzer Prizes anytime soon.
@thehill that "reporter" used a photo of the character David Bowman in 2001 Space Odyssey for a "citizen investigat… https://t.co/5WlQ2LKYUP— Cactus Juice 🌵 (@Cactus Juice 🌵)1584707279.0
@JordanUhl She was set up with that question, no doubt. Citing evil press coverage gave IQ45 one more chance to bem… https://t.co/zINCq56JRa— Onedayatatime (@Onedayatatime)1584637268.0
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.
Unbelievable SPIN. Media attacking @KellyannePolls on Pres. Trump's use of "ChinaVirus" - insisting offense; omitt… https://t.co/efRnMlRQaC— Chanel Rion OAN (@Chanel Rion OAN)1584544390.0
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.
Ah, workplace drama... ever so incomplete without that dash of anonymous passive aggression. Welcome to the baseme… https://t.co/QyPRZH0ms1— Chanel Rion OAN (@Chanel Rion OAN)1584642719.0
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.
@thehill I’m embarrassed for her. What a waste of time, energy and opportunity 🥺🤯😳🥵😷🙄— Jasmin Lucci (@Jasmin Lucci)1584706933.0
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.