Pelosi joins Rep. Chu in demanding McCarthy apology for referring to “Chinese coronavirus”

Politico reports House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is taking heat for calling Covid-19 the “Chinese coronavirus” in a recent tweet — a reference that prompted the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to demand an apology Tuesday.

“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,’’ CAPAC Chairwoman Rep. Judy Chu, the first Chinese American woman elected to Congress, said in a statement. “Worse, it’s harmful.’’

The California Democrat, of Monterey Park, accused McCarthy of “stoking xenophobia.”

Pelosi called on McCarthy to “delete this tweet and apologize immediately.”

“Bigoted statements which spread misinformation and blame Asians and the Asian American community for #coronavirus make us all less safe,” she said on Twitter.

Chu and the Asian Pacific American Caucus also directed harsh criticism at Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) for repeatedly calling the coronavirus the “Wuhan virus.” In a tweet posted earlier this week, Gosar wrote: “Just astoundingly ignorant to have all major media refer to it as #WuhanVirus for months but somehow, today, you’ve decided that’s #racist. If you think this virus cares about your race you probably work for or watch MSNBC. Wuhan Virus. Wuhan Virus. Wuhan Virus.”

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Native American Caucus, and the Congressional Progressive Caucus have similarly called on McCarthy and Gozar to apologize.

Chu’s expression of outrage comes on the heels of a Sacramento Bee editorial also demanding “Kevin McCarthy must apologize for offensive coronavirus tweet.’’ The Tuesday op-ed argued that “the framing may reflect a desire to use the coronavirus as an excuse to justify President Donald Trump’s ongoing crackdown on immigrants from certain countries.”

Brittany Martinez, a spokesperson for McCarthy, defended the lawmaker’s use of the term, saying it’s been in common use by media — though she pointed to a trio of examples dating back to January, before the outbreak was widespread.

“For weeks, this term has been widely used by established media outlets to describe the virus,” Martinez said. “But this week, Democrat lawmakers and the same media outlets who used the term in the past have decided it is ‘racist’ to do so. During a time when the Chinese Communist Party of China is knowingly spreading misinformation, we must be honest with China’s severe lack of transparency, which without question created a worse health problem for the world to deal with.”

Per TCO, Rep. Ilhan Omar accused GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy of being “racist” for typing the Coronavirus to China and referring to the “Chinese coronavirus.”

Kevin McCarthy had tweeted:

Everything you need to know about the Chinese coronavirus can be found on one, regularly-updated website:

Ilhan Omar responded:

Viruses don’t have nationalities.

This is racist.

Rep. Carol Miller fired back at Omar, tweeting:

We often name viruses on their location of origin.

West Nile
Spanish Flu

That name says nothing about the people who live there.

According to the most recent statistics, the number of China cases or coronavirus where the virus is believed to have originated indeed dwarf other regions.