Trump is not wrong for calling SARS-CoV-2 the Chinese virus

Trump is not wrong for calling SARS-CoV-2 the Chinese virus
image: usnews.com

SARS-CoV-2 is a Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome caused by a novel coronavirus, one that’s never been seen before. The illness caused by the virus is called COVID-19, a coronavirus disease that surfaced in 2019.

I’ve been critical of Donald Trump since I first saw an episode of The Apprentice back in 2004.  His presidency has been an eye opener as to the fragility of American democracy and the ever present threat of authoritarianism.

When Trump referred to the novel coronavirus as the Chinese virus, Liberals, and even some Conservatives called him a racist.

While it might be true that Donald Trump is a racist (it’s true), referring to a virus by its point of origin is not only not racist, it’s a common scientific practice.

If anyone asks me, which they won’t, I like the name Wuhan virus, to give it a more precise point of origin without stigmatizing an entire nation.

Science has historically named diseases after the places where they were first discovered.

Lassa virus emerged in the town of Lassa in Nigeria in 1969.  Ebola was named after the river that was thought to be the closest river to the village of Yambuku, where the virus first appeared in 1976.

As it turned out, scientists were looking at a bad map, there were at least three other rivers closer to Yambuku.

Lyme disease is named after the town of Old Lyme, Connecticut, where it first surfaced in 1975.  The Zika virus first appeared in the Zika Forest of Uganda in 1947.

We have the Hong Kong and Asian flues and the most deadly influenza of all, the Spanish flu, which killed 50 million people in 1918.

Bubonic plague was the most deadly of all pandemics though, killing 75 million people in the 14th Century, when the population of Earth was only about 360 million.

Trump’s own grandfather died of the Spanish flu, although he first said that he didn’t know that people die from the flu.

Trump is right about the whole political correctness thing, though. We’ve gone way overboard with it and it’s blurring the meaning of free speech.

I remember feeling like my blood was boiling back in 1978, when Nazis wanted to march through Skokie, Illinois, then home to many Holocaust survivors and their families.

The ACLU defended the Nazis right to march, but they ultimately settled for a rally in Federal Plaza in downtown Chicago.

I still believe that Nazism is antithetical to American values and that their brand of hate speech, the same kind of hate speech that led to the murder of 6 million Jews has no place in America.

Or anywhere.

Somehow, we still have to protect the right of people who want to say things that make our blood boil.

This business of “safe spaces” in colleges, which are the last stop on the train to real life is ridiculous. There are no safe spaces in life.

Colleges cancelling speakers because this group or that group is offended goes against the very meaning of free speech.  That’s a pretty damn slippery slope.

This form of Liberalism that makes it stylish to stifle free and open discussion is a greater threat to us than anything any one individual has to say.

History will not be kind to Donald Trump.

He will be remembered as a petty tyrant, a threat to our institutions and a destructive force in the history of America.  His single minded, self interest will be cited as a factor in the deaths of thousands of Americans.

Let’s be responsible Liberals though, and not pummel him needlessly.

Chinese virus is completely apropos, although I’m hoping Wuhan virus is the name that sticks.

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