At the insistence of the President of the United States, the viral pathogen behind the global pandemic was given the misnomer "Chinese virus."
Despite most confirmed cases in the United States being the result of the pathogen's path through Europe instead of Asia, racist attacks against Asians have risen in the USA.
Adding fuel to that fire are the multitude of conspiracy theories being floated by right wing media outlets.
Latching on to the worst impulses of frightened people, Arkansas Republican Senator Tom Cotton—who is up for reelection in November—attempted to bolster his public profile with a racist attack of his own. In an appearance on Fox News, the GOP Senator called for restrictions on Chinese students.
The Republican legislator said:
"It's a scandal to me that we've trained so many of the Chinese Communist Party's brightest minds to go back to China, to compete for our jobs, to take our business and ultimately to steal our property and design weapons and other devices that can be used against the American people."
The Arkansas Republican shared the segment where he made his baseless claims to Twitter.
The Chinese Communist leadership did not want to see their relative power and standing in the world decline because… https://t.co/kKppcMeZVo— Tom Cotton (@Tom Cotton) 1587914118.0
But Cotton's attempt to appeal to the people who have spit on, verbally assaulted and physically attacked people they perceive to be Asian failed to garner the type of support he hoped for. The post garnered only 2,788 likes after several days.
And most of the reactions were less than complimentary to Cotton or his uninformed claims and called him out for trying to cover for failures in the Trump administration with more racist rhetoric.
@SenTomCotton Mr Cotton, I guess your IQ is maybe 1% of that of Bill Gates. He said US did very poorly in the pand… https://t.co/rJSgkTKQ4m— Chen Weihua （陈卫华） (@Chen Weihua （陈卫华）) 1587915260.0
@SenTomCotton Which is worse? The country that we assume hid it or the US that did nothing when made aware?! From h… https://t.co/7nyAQw7UGE— Arty (@Arty) 1587916823.0
@SenTomCotton When in doubt, the @GOP will just shift the blame https://t.co/vNy9fOHSS0— Arty (@Arty) 1587996023.0
@SenTomCotton China reported possible h2h on 1/15, two weeks after receiving local doctors’ reports of pneumonia wi… https://t.co/PlNj4683jQ— waterdrop (@waterdrop) 1587915655.0
35 total Senate seats are being decided on November 3, 2020. 23 of those seats are currently held by the GOP.
In addition to Cotton, the following GOP Senators are up for reelection in 2020:
Dan Sullivan (AK), Martha McSally (AZ), Cory Gardner (CO), Kelly Loeffler (GA), David Perdue (GA), Joni Ernst (IA), James Risch (ID), Mitch McConnell (KY), Bill Cassidy (LA), Susan Collins (ME), Cindy Hyde-Smith (MI), Steve Daines (MT), Thom Tillis (NC), Ben Sasse (NE), Jim Inhofe (OK), Lindsey Graham (SC), Mike Rounds (SD), John Cornyn (TX) and Shelley Moore Capito (WV)
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