"It's dangerous and incites discrimination against Asian Americans and Asian immigrants"

Salon reports that colleagues of Republican leader Kevin McCarthy are calling for him to apologise for a “racist Chinese Coronavirus” tweet.

On Monday, the House Minority Leader promoted a CDC link with the caption, “Everything you need to know about the Chinese coronavirus can be found on one, regularly-updated website.”

The tweet, which is still live, sparked controversy for labelling the COVID-19 as the “Chinese coronavirus.”

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi tweeted that her McCarthy must apologise and remove the tweet as soon as possible.

“Bigoted statements which spread misinformation and blame Asians and the Asian American community for #coronavirus make us all less safe,” Pelosi tweeted. “@GOPLeader must delete this tweet and apologize immediately.”

Rep. Judy Chu, who had previously called for Congress to address Coronavirus-related racism, said it is “harmful” to describe the virus as “Chinese”.

In a statement, Chu said that “calling the 2019 novel coronavirus the ‘Chinese’ or ‘Wuhan’ coronavirus is as descriptive as calling it the ‘CPAC coronavirus’ — that is to say not descriptive at all. Worse, it’s harmful.”

Former Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris even called McCarthy’s tweet “dangerous.”

“Calling it the ‘Chinese coronavirus’ isn’t just racist,” Harris tweeted. “It’s dangerous and incites discrimination against Asian Americans and Asian immigrants.”

Margaret Fung, executive director of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, described McCarthy’s comment as “racist”.

“The term ‘Chinese coronavirus’ is racist, because it blames China and the Chinese people for COVID-19, a disease that can affect all people regardless of their race,” Fung said. “With rising fears and anxiety over the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s inexcusable for GOP leader Kevin McCarthy to engage in racial labeling, instead of focusing on solutions to this public health crisis.”

In related news, a Belgian school has come under fire for posting a picture of their students dressed in stereotypical Chinese hats and posing with racist gestures holding a ‘Corona Time’ sign.

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