If you harbor the slightest doubt that the Republican party is a pack of self-serving sociopaths who care far more about staying in power than serving their constituents or their country, I hope that the following will dispel that notion. Investigative journalist Kurt Eicnenwald spoke with a Republican source of his earlier in the month. The source was furious that the coronavirus was spreading and that his colleagues, “could not maintain the ‘COVID-19 is a fictional thing being used to hurt Trump’ charade.'”
So they had to find another way to politicize it, and stat. To that end they hired a political consultant who said the answer was to call it “China virus” or “Chinese virus,” and get everybody on the right-wing side of the cultural spectrum to do so The idea behind this spin was to provoke the Democrats, or any sane thinking person, for that matter, to inquire why call it Chinese virus? Why use a racist term? And of course, that is precisely what the Democrats did and why. And that played right into the GOP’s hands. The idea was to attack the Democrats and the media with self righteousness, claiming that they refused to call the virus by it’s true name. Kurt Eichenwald via DC Report @ Raw Story:
I found the whole idea amusing. That couldn’t possibly work, I said. First, who calls a disease the name of its virus? No one says Rubeola virus instead of measles. And everybody knows the name of the disease – COVID-19. And while most people don’t know the real name of SARS-CoV-2, everybody has heard the partially accurate “coronavirus.”
My source told me I was naive. The President would say “Chinese Virus” or “China Virus.” So would GOP members of Congress. And Fox News. And conservative talk radio. It would be repeated again and again until it was drilled in the heads of the base that might be wondering whether Trump really had messed up everything. And whenever anyone called it racist or challenged its use, the Republicans would just say “We just want to be accurate,” or “We’re not going to avoid its real name just because Democrats are absurdly sensitive.”
Now of course what this racist idiocy does is inflame the Chinese and that is ill advised, if not outright insane, at this juncture, because China has the most information and research on the virus and is cooperating with every other country in the world on dealing with it. Eichenwald pointed that out to his source.
That, my source said, was why he was so angry. His colleagues were behaving like a cornered dog, and lashing out without thinking. They had spent so much time denying science that now all they could think about was politics.
So the new phrase took root, starting with Tucker Carlson and moving on to Trump himself. Even Kellyanne Conway used the phrase and defended it by saying she was just being “accurate.” Conway’s accuracy is as credible as her alternative facts.
As I watched this language spread, knowing the GOP was engaging in PR spin to tear the country further apart during a health crisis, was willing to damage our scientists key relationship with the Chinese, was willing to make this outbreak worse simply to “own the libs.”
That’s it in a nutshell. Snopes is reporting that it is a true fact that Trump’s notes were changed from the word “coronavirus” to “Chinese” virus. Eichenwald is right — else why the change in terminology? This was done so that the GOP could get control of the narrative and use it as a political tool. The GOP will stop at nothing to stay in power, including kill people with false information and obfuscation of the facts. There will be lives lost because of this ploy and the blood will be on their hands.