The longtime NBA player, set to resume his 2019-20 season with the Beijing Ducks of the Chinese Basketball Association, began by reacting to a tweet from the day before in which Trump said, “The United States will be powerfully supporting those industries, like Airlines and others, that are particularly affected by the Chinese Virus.”
“I wish you would powerfully support the vulnerable people that will suffer due to our mismanagement of this virus, including those that will be affected by the racism you’re empowering,” Lin replied.
“And I dont wanna hear about no German measles/Spanish flu [because] everyday Asian-Americans [including people] I know are threatened and physically attacked,” Lin said in a subsequent tweet Tuesday. “I dont give a crap about the history of names [right now]. What I do know is this subtle anti-Chinese message only empowers more hate towards asians.”
Last week, the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans sent a letter urging House leaders to “call for unity, and publicly denounce the increase in racist attacks and discrimination against the Asian American community.”
The Trump administration’s possible role in fomenting anti-Chinese sentiment came under further scrutiny Tuesday when CBS News correspondent Weijia Jiang tweeted that “a White House official referred to #Coronavirus as the ‘Kung-Flu’ to my face.” She added, “Makes me wonder what they’re calling it behind my back.”
At a White House news conference Wednesday, Trump was asked if the alleged use of “Kung-Flu” was “acceptable,” as well as if his frequent use of “Chinese Virus” put Asian Americans “at risk.”
“No, not at all.” Trump replied. “I think they probably would agree with it 100 percent. It comes from China.”
Earlier in the news conference, the president used the same line when asked about the terminology, as well as about remarks before a congressional committee last month in which his secretary of Health and Human Services said, “Ethnicity is not what causes the novel coronavirus.”
After denying there was any racist intent on his part, Trump said, “It comes from China. I want to be accurate.”
Later on Wednesday, the White House posted a tweet in which it said, “Spanish Flu. West Nile Virus. Zika. Ebola. All named for places. Before the media’s fake outrage, even CNN called it ‘Chinese Coronavirus.'
Spanish Flu. West Nile Virus. Zika. Ebola. All named for places.— The White House (@WhiteHouse) March 18, 2020
Before the media’s fake outrage, even CNN called it “Chinese Coronavirus.”
Those trying to divide us must stop rooting for America to fail and give Americans real info they need to get through the crisis.
In addition to HHS Secretary Alex Azar, another top administration official recently took issue with the term “Chinese coronavirus” and its variants, which have been used recently by not only Trump but members of his administration and Republican congressmen.
During House testimony last week, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was told by Rep. Lois Frankel (D-Fla.), “It’s absolutely wrong and inappropriate to call this the ‘Chinese coronavirus,’ I assume you would agree with that.”
“Yes,” replied CDC Director Robert Redfield.
In a tweet earlier this month, the World Health Organization said, “DO — talk about the new #coronavirus disease (#COVID19). DON’T — attach locations or ethnicity to the disease, this is not a ‘Wuhan Virus’, ‘Chinese Virus’ or 'Asian Virus.'
“The official name for the disease was deliberately chosen to avoid stigmatization,” the WHO added.
This week did not mark the first time Lin indicated he was upset with terms expressly linking the viral outbreak to its place of origin; in January, he retweeted a comment in which Chinese-Canadian actor Simu Liu declared, “Just reminding you that the coronavirus doesn’t give you an excuse to be a [expletive] to Asian people.”
Lin has also shared encouragement on social media for people to speak “less out of hate, more out of empathy” amid the coronavirus crisis, and he recently praised “doctors and nurses fighting [on] the front lines” against outbreaks around the world.
“For every fear-inducing headline, I see hope,” he wrote in an Instagram post last week while announcing that he was donating approximately $150,000 to help procure medical equipment for the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the virus is thought to have first jumped from animals to humans. Lin said he was giving an additional $150,000 “towards fighting this virus.”
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Over the past few weeks, I’ve been monitoring coronavirus and the darkness it’s casted over the world. News headlines of racism, xenophobia, attacks on Asians and decaying trust towards people. All heartbreaking and the opposite of God's kingdom. But for every fear-inducing headline, I see hope. I see doctors and nurses fighting the front lines in China, Korea, Japan, Iran, Italy and more. I see people helping people in countries regardless of race or background. Talk less out of hate, more out of empathy. Lets talk about the man who made 16,000 meals for frontline workers. Lets appreciate the doctor who postponed his wedding and then tragically lost his life fighting the virus. He's a hero.Lets be inspired and demand justice for Meera Solanki who defended her Asian friend against an aggressive man in Birmingham only to be knocked unconscious. Lets follow suit and take action like Inner Mongolia who sent 2500 tons of potatoes to Wuhan. There are many examples of racism but also countless examples of hope - May Lee and her podcast, the Guardian Angels group, companies donating masks, all the bold frontline workers and more. Dont criticize unless youre willing to be a part of the solution. With my bball foundation in China, we’ve donated 1 million RMB to get medical equipment to Wuhan. I’ll also be donating an additional $150,000 towards fighting this virus. Let's all do our part to quarantine, wash our hands vigorously, wear a protective mask to avoid germs spreading and do our part to share facts and preventative measures. Stay together, fight on! Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good -- Romans 12:9
In his series of tweets Tuesday, the 31-year-old Lin said that he was “not good with the old school Asian model minority stigma where we won’t speak up or stand up for ourselves.”
“In times like now, we truly truly need to stay united,” continued Lin, who could not be reached Wednesday for comment. “Lets fight this virus TOGETHER! Wash your hands, practice social distancing, take this seriously, stay safe.”
To another Twitter user who told him, “Every major media outlet called it Wuhan virus before trump,” Lin replied, “Can you honestly tell me there is ZERO anti-Chinese sentiment in all his characterizations of the virus? Can you honestly tell me Asians aren’t being unfairly physically attacked today in the US?
“Is it that hard to use coronavirus or COVID-19?” Lin added. “We playin the blame game in a crisis.”