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No, calling SARS-CoV-2 'Chinese coronavirus' isn't racist

Calling someone racist or bigoted should be serious business, but Democrats have come up with a new way to cheapen the accusation. Republicans, you see, are bigots for calling the novel coronavirus “Chinese coronavirus” or the “Wuhan virus.”

“This labeling of the illness is embarrassing, disrespectful, offensive and downright disgusting,” Rep. Grace Meng, D-N.Y., vice chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, wrote in a statement. “Wrongly inserting ‘Chinese’ into the name of this disease only reinforces the disparaging and negative stereotypes of Asian Americans.”

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif, backed her up in a tweet: “Calling it the ‘Chinese coronavirus’ isn’t just racist, it’s dangerous and incites discrimination against Asian Americans and Asian immigrants.”


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did, too, calling on the Republicans who spread such racist ideas to apologize.

ABC News, USA TODAY, the Guardian, The Washington Post and The New York Times, among other news outlets, all jumped on the controversy. But many of the reports left something out: just how common and innocuous geographic names are for diseases.

Here are a few:

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