The president has used the term multiple times on Twitter, prompting critics – including Chinese officials – to accuse him of promoting racist rhetoric against Asians.
Carlson addressed the backlash on his show Tucker Carlson Tonight on Tuesday and expressed his support for Trump.
‘Today, NBC News sent a tweet suggesting the president’s use of the phrase ‘Chinese virus’ was, quote, both inaccurate and harmful, in tying racist associations between the virus and those from China,’ the host said.
‘Another statement written by morons in our news media. How is it inaccurate to call a virus from China “Chinese?”‘
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Fox News host Tucker Carlson praised Donald Trump for repeatedly referring to COVID-19 as ‘the Chinese virus’ during his show on Tuesday night
President Trump has been accused of promoting racist rhetoric against Asians by referring to the novel coronavirus as ‘the Chinese virus’ multiple times on Twitter this week
‘The president, to his credit, does not seem intimidated,’ Carlson added before cutting to a clip of Trump dismissing criticisms at a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
In the clip a reporter is heard asking Trump whether he will continue to use the phrase despite having been told its offensive.
‘Well, China was putting out information which was false, that our military gave this to them, which was false,’ he responded, referencing his administration’s previous accusations that China was spreading conspiracy theories about the virus being created by the US military.
‘Rather than having an argument I said I have to call it where it came from. It came from China.’
‘Good for him,’ Carlson stated at the clip’s conclusion.
‘That was Trump at his very best.’
‘Why would our media take the side of China in a crisis like this?’ he asked.
A graphic with the words ‘Chinese Coronavirus in America’ was shown on the screen as he spoke.
Trump appeared unfazed by the backlash as he repeated the offending term three times in a string of tweets on Wednesday morning
As of Wednesday afternoon, 7,898 people in the US have tested positive for COVID-19 across all 50 states and 121 have died
Federal officials including the head of the US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have sought to reduce racist stigma surrounding COVID-19 by warning against referring to the strain in a way that links it with China, where the outbreak began in December in the city of Wuhan.
World Health Organization guidelines caution leaders to avoid naming a disease after a location because doing so can stigmatize an area or ethnic group.
But Trump – who has faced fierce criticism over his handling of the pandemic in the US and also has a long history of alleged racism and xenophobia – has sought to cast the novel coronavirus as a disease brought by foreigners.
While COVID-19 has largely come under control in China, it has killed more than 7,000 people around the world and severely disrupted daily life in Western countries.
As of Wednesday afternoon, 7,898 people in the US have tested positive for COVID-19 across all 50 states and 121 have died.
Trump drew the ire of Chinese officials on Monday when he referred to COVID-19 as the ‘Chinese virus’ in a tweet.
‘The United States will be powerfully supporting those industries, like Airlines and others, that are particularly affected by the Chinese Virus. We will be stronger than ever before!’ he wrote.
Beijing responded early on Tuesday by demanding that ‘the US side correct the mistake immediately and halt its groundless accusations’.
Trump then doubled down, tweeting Tuesday morning about New York’s governor Andrew Cuomo – who has demanded the military are activated to build hospitals – that: ‘Cuomo wants ‘all states to be treated the same.’
‘But all states aren’t the same. Some are being hit hard by the Chinese Virus, some are being hit practically not at all.’
Trump first drew the ire of Chinese officials on Monday when he referred to COVID-19 as the ‘Chinese virus’ in a tweet
The president repeated the offensive moniker for coronavirus in another tweet on Tuesday
Hours later an Asian-American reporter for CBS News added fuel to the controversy when she accused a White House official of calling coronavirus the ‘Kung Flu’ right to her face.
Weijia Jiang, who was born in China and raised in West Virginia, shared the unsettling encounter on Twitter, writing: ’This morning a White House official referred to #Coronavirus as the “Kung-Flu” to my face.
‘Makes me wonder what they’re calling it behind my back.’
Dozens of social media users expressed outrage over the comment, charging that Trump is responsible for racist rhetoric surrounding coronavirus.
Weijia Jiang, a correspondent for CBS News, accused a White House official of referring to coronavirus as the ‘Kung Flu’ right to her face on Tuesday morning
Dozens of social media users expressed outrage over the comment, charging that Trump is responsible for racist rhetoric surrounding coronavirus within his administration
Several other pro-Trump officials have referred to the deadly strain as the ‘Wuhan virus’, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Sen Tom Cotton (R – Oklahoma) and Congressman Paul Gosar (R – Arizona).
Pompeo accused China of spreading conspiracy theories that the virus was the creation of the US military.
Contrasting conspiracy theories charging that the virus was created by China as a tool for biological warfare have been aired in pro-Trump circles in the US.
Geng Shuang, a spokesperson from China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on Tuesday accused ‘certain American politicians’ of promoting stigmatization by connecting the novel coronavirus with China.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (pictured) accused China of spreading conspiracy theories that the virus was the creation of the US military
He did not name Trump specifically, but was believed to be responding to the president’s tweet hours earlier, Chinese state news agency Xinhua reported.
‘We express strong indignation and resolute opposition to this,’ Geng said at a daily news briefing.
He stressed that the coronavirus outbreak had occurred in multiple places around the world and the urgent task was for the international community to join forces to curb the pandemic.
‘The United States should mind its own business first, and then make constructive contributions to the international counter-epidemic collaboration and the maintenance of the global public health safety,’ Geng said.
China later retaliated by announcing that Beijing would expel American journalists working for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.
Trump responded to the snub by tripling down on the offending term in a string of tweets.
‘For the people that are now out of work because of the important and necessary containment policies, for instance the shutting down of hotels, bars and restaurants, money will soon be coming to you. The onslaught of the Chinese Virus is not your fault! Will be stronger than ever!’ the first tweet read.
About an hour later he added: ‘I will be having a news conference today to discuss very important news from the FDA concerning the Chinese Virus!’
In a third tweet he stated: ‘I always treated the Chinese Virus very seriously, and have done a very good job from the beginning, including my very early decision to close the “borders” from China – against the wishes of almost all. Many lives were saved. The Fake News new narrative is disgraceful & false!’
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