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  #1  
Old 03-19-2020, 10:29 AM
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Racism and "Wuhan virus" - only because Wuhan is a fairly well known large city?


There has been criticism that the term "Wuhan virus" is racist, or stigmatizing, because it gives social stigma to people from Wuhan, which is a large and prominent city.

At the same time, however, terms such as Ebola virus (Ebola river in Congo,) or Lassa Fever (Lassa in Nigeria), Nipah virus (Sungai Nipah in Malaysia,) Zika virus (Zika forest in Uganda,) Rift Valley fever (Rift valley in Kenya,) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (the Middle East,) remain prevalent in usage, with little or no controversy.

Is it only because Wuhan is a well-known city and hence the stigma would arise more easily (whereas most Westerners wouldn't recognize the name Lassa or Sungai Nipah?) Or because China has more clout and the international community is more reluctant to anger China?
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Old 03-19-2020, 10:34 AM
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You can call it anything you like. It originated in Wuhan and the news since the beginning of January was about China shutting down the city of Wuhan due to the seriousness of it.
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Old 03-19-2020, 10:36 AM
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Trump just started his ongoing press conference by calling Covid-19 "The Chinese Virus" for obvious political reasons. That's why the medical profession tries to avoid using place names when naming diseases.
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Old 03-19-2020, 10:46 AM
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There has been criticism that the term "Wuhan virus" is racist, or stigmatizing, because it gives social stigma to people from Wuhan, which is a large and prominent city.
I have not seen that criticism. Who is saying that? Not just that the constant association of the disease with China and having it described as a "foreign disease" is leading to general racism against people of apparently Asian ancestry, but that the problem with this is supposedly that itís unfair to the people of Wuhan, a city which I suspect the bulk of us outside China have never heard of before, nor ever met anyone from?
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Old 03-19-2020, 10:46 AM
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I'm calling it "Trump virus" from now on.
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Old 03-19-2020, 10:50 AM
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Trump just started his ongoing press conference by calling Covid-19 "The Chinese Virus" for obvious political reasons.
At least he didn't say "kung flu".
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Old 03-19-2020, 10:52 AM
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After hiding the beginnings of this infection, kicking out all the Western journalists, and dumping all over the citizens of Hong Kong --- I think we should call it the Chinese government flu just for the hell of it. But I'll bend over and call it the Spanish Flu II.

Last edited by Tigers2B1; 03-19-2020 at 10:54 AM.
  #8  
Old 03-19-2020, 10:59 AM
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I have not seen that criticism. Who is saying that?
Yes, WHO is saying that.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/a...name-covid-19/
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In choosing the name, WHO advisers focused simply on the type of virus that causes the disease.
Quote:
In selecting COVID-19 as the name of the disease, the WHO name-givers steered clear of linking the outbreak to China or the city of Wuhan, where the illness was first identified. Although origin sites have been used in the past to identify new viruses, such a namesake is now seen as denigrating. Some experts have come to regret naming the infection caused by a different coronavirus the Middle East respiratory syndrome.
ďHaving a name matters to prevent the use of other names that can be inaccurate or stigmatizing,Ē Tedros said. ďIt also gives us a standard format to use for any future coronavirus outbreaks.Ē
https://www.statnews.com/2020/01/23/...-needs-a-name/
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It was the WHO that chose the name SARS and was involved in the negotiations that settled on the name MERS ó though WHO now uses MERS as an example of what not to do when naming a disease since it evokes a specific region. (The acronym is short for Middle East respiratory syndrome.) That, experts now agree, can be seen as disparaging.
This article details a number of diseases with place names and the stigma that became associated with those places.

Look at it this way: if someone in your family was the very first person diagnosed with a new highly contagious and deadly disease, would you want the world to know that as the MyFamilyName Disease?

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 03-19-2020 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 03-19-2020, 11:27 AM
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Ohio is pretty pissed about The Cleveland Steamer.
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Old 03-19-2020, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
Look at it this way: if someone in your family was the very first person diagnosed with a new highly contagious and deadly disease, would you want the world to know that as the MyFamilyName Disease?
I don't know. The "manson1972 face-eating bacteria" sounds pretty cool.
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Old 03-19-2020, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
There has been criticism that the term "Wuhan virus" is racist, or stigmatizing, because it gives social stigma to people from Wuhan, which is a large and prominent city.



At the same time, however, terms such as Ebola virus (Ebola river in Congo,) or Lassa Fever (Lassa in Nigeria), Nipah virus (Sungai Nipah in Malaysia,) Zika virus (Zika forest in Uganda,) Rift Valley fever (Rift valley in Kenya,) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (the Middle East,) remain prevalent in usage, with little or no controversy.



Is it only because Wuhan is a well-known city and hence the stigma would arise more easily (whereas most Westerners wouldn't recognize the name Lassa or Sungai Nipah?) Or because China has more clout and the international community is more reluctant to anger China?
Well, why do you think the White House and conservative media insists on calling it the Chinese or Wuhan virus even though it has another name that is much more widely established?
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Old 03-19-2020, 12:12 PM
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Classic distraction technique Trump is using to rally his base and deflect from questions on his administration's incompetence. Same with blaming America's ills on Mexicans or his other "all media is evil" shit. Just repeat China and drown out all important health questions during a crisis.
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Old 03-19-2020, 12:17 PM
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Well, why do you think the White House and conservative media insists on calling it the Chinese or Wuhan virus even though it has another name that is much more widely established?
This ignores the responsibility of the Chinese government for lying about its origins and spread. It also ignores the fact that this same government lied its way to tens of millions of Chinese deaths during the Great Leap Forward. Maybe we should call it the CCP virus?

Last edited by madsircool; 03-19-2020 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 03-19-2020, 12:31 PM
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Good job, madsircool keep repeating the word China and the Great Leap Forward, and maybe everyone will forget that Trump has been lying daily about this crisis from day 1. That'll surly distract everyone from Trump's rejection of WHO's conronavirus testing kits or his firing of your nation's pandemic response team.
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Old 03-19-2020, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by madsircool View Post
This ignores the responsibility of the Chinese government for lying about its origins and spread. It also ignores the fact that this same government lied its way to tens of millions of Chinese deaths during the Great Leap Forward. Maybe we should call it the CCP virus?

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 03-19-2020 at 12:32 PM.
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Old 03-19-2020, 12:34 PM
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That's not an answer to the question.
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Old 03-19-2020, 12:37 PM
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madsircool keep repeating the word China and the Great Leap Forward, and maybe everyone will forget that Trump has been lying daily about this crisis from day 1. That'll surly distract everyone from Trump's rejection of WHO's conronavirus testing kits or his firing of your nation's pandemic response team.
Did the virus originate here? Did Trump quash and expel the press? Does the US have a history of killing millions of its own citizens? Just keep your Trump mantra going. There is no equivalency between Trump and the CCP.
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Old 03-19-2020, 12:42 PM
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Trump's administration is causing the deaths of Americans and the destruction of your economy. The lies, inaction, distractions, and lack of truthful information are a tragedy that you are reveling in. SAD.
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Old 03-19-2020, 12:49 PM
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How does it help Americans to call it a foreign virus? Do certain medicines only work on domestic viruses?
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Old 03-19-2020, 12:50 PM
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Trump's administration is causing the deaths of Americans and the destruction of your economy. The lies, inaction, distractions, and lack of truthful information are a tragedy that you are reveling in. SAD.
Reveling in? Like your lack of any kind of factual perspective. Did Trump allow the virus to spread in China? Did he allow it to spread in Italy? No. But there are quite a few lefty Trumps on these boards who speak from emotion and ignorance. Who are willing to name call and rush to hasty conclusions. Truthful information is pretty damn hard to come by when the nation of origin jails and journo or academic who dares speak the truth. Inaction? Should he have immediately shut the borders? We still arent sure exactly what the Feds can actually do without some kind of martial law being declared. If he had done that this thread would be about Trumps naked attempt to grab power and make himself President for life. I hate Trump but I would rather try to look at the facts as objectively as I possibly can and give him some space. It took months and an exponential spread of HIV for SF/LA/NYC to shut down their bathhouses. Dealing with pandemics is hard an uncertain work.
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Old 03-19-2020, 12:55 PM
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How does it help Americans to call it a foreign virus? Do certain medicines only work on domestic viruses?
How does it help to blame a buffoon like Trump more than Xi and the CCP when it was policy for the Chinese government to hide and deny the truth? Maybe calling it the CCP virus would assign blame where it rightly belongs without tarring an entire nation?
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Old 03-19-2020, 01:05 PM
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Yes, WHO is saying that.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/a...name-covid-19/https://www.statnews.com/2020/01/23/...-needs-a-name/This article details a number of diseases with place names and the stigma that became associated with those places.

Look at it this way: if someone in your family was the very first person diagnosed with a new highly contagious and deadly disease, would you want the world to know that as the MyFamilyName Disease?
That misses the point. The OP, and apparently this debate, is about whether or not people think applying this label, the "Wuhan virus", is bad because it stigmatizes the population of this supposedly well-known city. No mention was made of the broader problem of xenophobia or racism, effectively reducing it to the level of a dispute over which city has the better deep dish pizza or why [insert sports team] sucks so hard while [insert competing sports team from home town] rocks.

It takes the "letís stop emphasizing the overseas origin of this virus, particular to China, when it comes to efforts to combat its spread so that we donít turn this into a cause celebre for a bunch of xenophobic racists" position and reduces it to a straw man of "hey, donít call it the Wuhan virus because thatís mean to the people of Wuhan that you might interact with in every day life since itís such a big and well known city."

It strikes me as a straw man with a side of question begging.

Last edited by ASL v2.0; 03-19-2020 at 01:08 PM.
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Old 03-19-2020, 01:14 PM
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Politics I guess

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Old 03-19-2020, 01:20 PM
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I'm betting there's more backlash about "Wuhan fever" because of the increase in political correctness since a lot of the prior examples you gave. I'm not saying PC is bad or good - I realize this isn't the thread for it and I think it highly depends on the context, anyway. But you really can't ignore the fact that it's become more and more important to a broad number of people and has continued to increase in more recent years. It's almost become a competition for some people, it seems.
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Old 03-19-2020, 01:23 PM
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When I first heard of the WHO guidelines to not name diseases after places because of the possibility of racism or xenophobia, I thought it was absurd. Who would be so idiotic as to blame a people just because they were the first ones to get sick?

I've since learned, lots of folks would be that idiotic.
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Old 03-19-2020, 01:24 PM
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Did Trump allow the virus to spread in China? Did he allow it to spread in Italy?
Two years ago, his administration made a 75% reduction to an Obama-era initiative aimed at stopping potential epidemics before they cross borders and China was one of those countries cut out.

Last edited by Skywatcher; 03-19-2020 at 01:25 PM.
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Old 03-19-2020, 01:29 PM
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Does the US have a history of killing millions of its own citizens?
Yes.

https://www.history.com/news/native-...-united-states
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From the time Europeans arrived on American shores, the frontier—the edge territory between white man’s civilization and the untamed natural world—became a shared space of vast, clashing differences that led the U.S. government to authorize over 1,500 wars, attacks and raids on Indians, the most of any country in the world against its indigenous people. By the close of the Indian Wars in the late 19th century, fewer than 238,000 indigenous people remained, a sharp decline from the estimated 5 million to 15 million living in North America when Columbus arrived in 1492.

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Old 03-19-2020, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by ASL v2.0 View Post
That misses the point. The OP, and apparently this debate, is about whether or not people think applying this label, the "Wuhan virus", is bad because it stigmatizes the population of this supposedly well-known city. No mention was made of the broader problem of xenophobia or racism, effectively reducing it to the level of a dispute over which city has the better deep dish pizza or why [insert sports team] sucks so hard while [insert competing sports team from home town] rocks.
I quoted you and answered the question you asked directly. If you wanted a different question answered, you should have asked a different question.
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It takes the "letís stop emphasizing the overseas origin of this virus, particular to China, when it comes to efforts to combat its spread so that we donít turn this into a cause celebre for a bunch of xenophobic racists" position and reduces it to a straw man of "hey, donít call it the Wuhan virus because thatís mean to the people of Wuhan that you might interact with in every day life since itís such a big and well known city."

It strikes me as a straw man with a side of question begging.
Your argument strikes me as idiotic and self-absorbed. The question was "who decided this was stigmatizing?" and the answer is "the people who name diseases because people told them it was stigmatizing to have a disease named after the place they lived."

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 03-19-2020 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 03-19-2020, 01:56 PM
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My point is not so much, "is it right to call it Wuhan virus or not," as it is, "Why aren't the other names - Zika, Ebola, Rift Valley, West Nile, Japanese encephalitis, Lassa fever, Nipah virus, etc. considered problematic?"
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Old 03-19-2020, 02:00 PM
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I wouldn't mind "Wuhan Virus" but "Coronavirus" seems to be the name that stuck, and is fine for everyday conversations and journalism because everyone knows which coronavirus you're talking about. I wouldn't want any variety of "fever" in the name as that might make people less worried about spreading it if they don't have a fever.

Any variety of "China" would go against the nomenclature of specificity we've been building up over the past half-century or so, and sounds just as out of touch as using the words "Oriental" or "Negro": not offensive in itself but a warning sign of a backwards mindset.
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Old 03-19-2020, 02:01 PM
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Dupe

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Old 03-19-2020, 02:01 PM
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Absent any evidence to the contrary, I am inclined to believe that it has nothing to do with Wuhan- all place names are considered problematic including Ebola, Zika, Middle East, etc.- which is why the decision is made and from now on it's FGMX-27 instead of Chicago Grippe or Toronto Crotch-Rot.
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Old 03-19-2020, 02:20 PM
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My point is not so much, "is it right to call it Wuhan virus or not," as it is, "Why aren't the other names - Zika, Ebola, Rift Valley, West Nile, Japanese encephalitis, Lassa fever, Nipah virus, etc. considered problematic?"
Linked earlier:
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The scientists who investigated the first known Ebola outbreak were aware of the risk of leaving an indelible stain on a particular place. That team, led by legendary virus hunter Karl Johnson, traveled to Yambuku, in what was then Zaire ó now the Democratic Republic of the Congo ó in 1976 to try to determine what was killing people who worked in or sought care at a hospital run by Belgian nuns.

Johnson proposed that the virus be called Ebola, after a river he spotted on a map, roughly 40 miles away from where the outbreak was taking place, according to a report of the outbreak response, published in 2016. Yambuku was spared the infamy of being the name of a highly deadly virus.
Many of the diseases you name were named well before awareness of the stigmatization was an accepted fact. Zika was named after the Ziika Forest, for instance, in 1947. It's simply too late to change the name; it is already printed in thousands of news articles, medical papers, etc.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 03-19-2020 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 03-19-2020, 02:29 PM
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Here are the WHO best practices for naming of new human infectious diseases:
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The World Health Organization (WHO), in consultation and collaboration with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), has identified best practices for the naming of new human diseases, with the aim to minimize unnecessary negative impact of disease names on trade, travel, tourism or animal welfare, and avoid causing offence to any cultural, social, national, regional, professional or ethnic groups.
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Best practices for disease naming
A disease name should consist of a combination of terms listed in Table A, based on the below principles. Terms listed in Table B should be avoided. General principles of use of terms include:
1. Generic descriptive terms can be used in any name. Generic terms will be most useful when available information on the disease or syndrome is not sufficiently robust, because these basic characteristics are unlikely to change as additional information become available.
e.g. respiratory disease, hepatitis, neurologic syndrome, watery diarrhoea, enteritis
2. Specific descriptive terms should be used whenever the available information is considered sufficiently robust that the vast changes to the epidemiology or clinical picture are unlikely to occur. Plain terms are preferred to highly technical terms.
e.g. progressive, juvenile, severe, winter
3. If the causative pathogen is known, it should be used as part of the disease name with additional descriptors. The pathogen should not be directly equated with the disease as a pathogen may cause more than one disease.
e.g. novel coronavirus respiratory syndrome
4. Names should be short (minimum number of characters) and easy to pronounce. e.g. H7N9, rabies, malaria, polio
5. Given that long names are likely to be shortened into an acronym, potential acronyms should be evaluated to ensure they also comply with these best practices.
6. Names should be as consistent as possible with guidance from the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) Content Model Reference Guide2.
Tables A and B may be of particular interest.
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Old 03-19-2020, 02:30 PM
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My point is not so much, "is it right to call it Wuhan virus or not," as it is, "Why aren't the other names - Zika, Ebola, Rift Valley, West Nile, Japanese encephalitis, Lassa fever, Nipah virus, etc. considered problematic?"
For the same reason that the United Negro College Fund and National Association for the Advancement of Colored People haven't changed their names. If they were named today they would have different names, but it's too late and not worth the effort to get people to switch to a new name. However, new diseases don't need to be named with the same mistake.
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Old 03-19-2020, 02:39 PM
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The difference between the Wuhan Virus and the other geographically-named viruses is that only Wuhan has the power of the Chinese state trying to get the name changed.

Everyone including the major media outlets, was calling it the 'Wuhan Virus' just a couple of weeks ago. Then the Chinese government started squawking, and suddenly calling a virus by its geographic origin is 'problematic', even though that's been the standard for well over 100 years.

At the same time, China has been downplaying its role in practices that led to the virus transferring to people, covering up the virus itself, destroying evidence about its origin, and is now trying to rewrite history. You see, China isn't a corrupt country with terrible health practices that led to a pandemic that they tried to cover up, hut a victim of racism that is magnanimously trying to help the world.

I suggest we call it the 'Wuhan-Xi' virus, or the 'Wuhan-CCP' virus to punish them for this crap, or perhaps the Wuhan-Pooh virus.

And reporters who waste time in press conferences about a global pandemic to ask questions about 'problematic' name choices or other SJW or anti-Trump 'gotchas' should be banned from press conferences until this over. Trivialities are for trivial times. When shit gets serious, there is no time to ask about the gender equity on virus response teams or whether the head of a hospital has the correct skin color or gender.

Last edited by Sam Stone; 03-19-2020 at 02:41 PM.
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Old 03-19-2020, 02:41 PM
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BTW, the World Health Organization is heavily influenced by China, and the WHO's initial response to the virus downplayed it and basically repeated the Chinese line for some time until reality became unavoidable.
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Old 03-19-2020, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Sam Stone View Post
The difference between the Wuhan Virus and the other geographically-named viruses is that only Wuhan has the power of the Chinese state trying to get the name changed.

Everyone! including the major media outlets, was calling it the 'Wuhan Virus' just a couple of weeks ago. Then the Chinese government started squawking, and suddenly calling a virus by its geographic origin is 'problematic', even though that's been the standard for well over 100 years.
Until five years ago, you mean.
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Old 03-19-2020, 02:45 PM
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The difference between the Wuhan Virus and the other geographically-named viruses is that only Wuhan has the power of the Chinese state trying to get the name changed.
Not true.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Stone View Post
Everyone! including the major media outlets, was calling it the 'Wuhan Virus' just a couple of weeks ago.
Not true.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Stone View Post
Then the Chinese government started squawking, and suddenly calling a virus by its geographic origin is 'problematic', even though that's been the standard for well over 100 years.
Not true.
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I suggest we call it the 'Wuhan-Xi' virus, or the 'Wuhan-CCP' virus to punish them for this crap, or perhaps the Wuhan-Pooh virus.
An absolutely reprehensible, vindictive and misguided suggestion.
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Old 03-19-2020, 03:45 PM
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Here you go. It appears to be deliberate:
https://www.newsandguts.com/photo-of...gnb_Y4duoSJ0Gw
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Old 03-19-2020, 03:53 PM
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BTW, the World Health Organization is heavily influenced by China, and the WHO's initial response to the virus downplayed it and basically repeated the Chinese line for some time until reality became unavoidable.
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Old 03-19-2020, 04:00 PM
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For what it's worth, I never heard anyone call it the Wuhan virus. I think I heard coronavirus from the beginning. Could someone cite a reasonable mainstream source calling it the Wuhan virus?

Second, I've still never heard that or heard complaints about that. I've seen complaints about calling it the Chinese virus, but not Wuhan virus, because no one is calling it that that I've seen.

Third, I never heard of Wuhan or Hubei before this, so I dispute that it's a fairly well known large city, at least as far as your average American goes.

TLDR: I've only heard complaints about racism when people call it the Chinese virus, and I've never heard it called the Wuhan virus.
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Old 03-19-2020, 04:08 PM
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Reveling in? Like your lack of any kind of factual perspective. Did Trump allow the virus to spread in China? Did he allow it to spread in Italy? No.
Trump had little control over any of those things. The part that Trump may have played a positive role in this, by, for example, not disbanding the US CDC's world health team, he did the harmful act.

Of the things Trump did have control over, like administrating the US' agencies that would have helped monitor, plan, and handle the outbreak of this disease, he made it worse. On the issue of public awareness and public concern, he called it a hoax and a creation of his political enemies.

Of the things under his control, he made all of them worse. Every choice he made is a choice that was more likely to result in harm to the world and harm to the Americans under his responsibility.

Quote:
Originally Posted by madsircool View Post
Dealing with pandemics is hard an uncertain work.
So tell me, what steps did Trump take to make sure that we had the best experts implementing the best policy to do as well as we could've?

Last edited by SenorBeef; 03-19-2020 at 04:10 PM.
  #44  
Old 03-19-2020, 04:09 PM
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The Venn diagram of people who believe there is a War on Christmas and those who go out of thier way to call it the foreign or China virus is a circle.

It's conservative virtue signalling.
  #45  
Old 03-19-2020, 04:28 PM
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stupid server errors; duplicate post from 35 minutes ago

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 03-19-2020 at 04:31 PM.
  #46  
Old 03-19-2020, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chingon View Post
The Venn diagram of people who believe there is a War on Christmas and those who go out of thier way to call it the foreign or China virus is a circle.

It's conservative virtue signalling.
OK, but is anyone calling it the Wuhan virus? That's the whole point of this thread, something about Wuhan being a well known city(?) causing the complaints about people calling it that.
  #47  
Old 03-19-2020, 04:51 PM
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... It also ignores the fact that this same government lied its way to tens of millions of Chinese deaths during the Great Leap Forward. Maybe we should call it the CCP virus?
Oh my. Perhaps the next time there's a genocide it should be referred to as an "Americanization" so we don't "ignore the facts" of the slaughters of so many Native Americans by These United States.

One thing is certain. The proper noun 'Trump' will be used as a common noun in future ó like those of quisling, boycott, machiavelli, sade ó and it will not be used in a complimentary way.
  #48  
Old 03-19-2020, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
Not true.
The notion that China's vast clout and economic power and PR influence cause the international community to have to tread more carefully with any term that offends China, (as opposed to few people objecting to some obscure town or forest in a Third World country having a disease label attached to it,) is a perfectly reasonable one. Beijing is known for throwing a fit over things that upset it.
  #49  
Old 03-19-2020, 05:31 PM
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There is no use in naming a disease after the animal it came from (Swine flu) or the nation that reported it (Spanish flu) or the place where it became infamous (MERS). They offer no useful information, and serve only to stigmatize a thing or place for political reasons.

Take for example Spanish Flu... most likely it originated in Ft. Riley, Kansas. Spain had nothing to do with it. That's why it's better to have a depoliticized naming system.

I mean, should we start calling hurricanes "Hurricane Azores" because that's where it came from? It's nonsense. That's why we have a neutral naming scheme.
  #50  
Old 03-19-2020, 05:44 PM
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The whole idea is to politicize this serious crisis and rally the base to hide gross mismanagement. Every disaster is a constant game of distract the public, pass the buck.
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