Many people who follow global politics and America’s affairs, have been nursing a fear and holding their nerve that the Coronavirus pandemic in the United States might trigger something stupid reaction like racism and hatred as opposed to soberness and reason. And boom, that moment has come.
In a Twitter post, made today, the President of the United States Donald Trump has described the Coronavirus as a ‘Chinese Virus’, a statement that defies scientific reasoning and repeated warnings by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that a SARS-COV-19 which is caused by the Coronavirus knows no borders and that its origins are not yet known.
Over 3000 Americans have tested positive to the virus and dozens have died already from the disease.
With such talk, some people now fear that the millions of his supporters that believe in him, might start to stigmatize and vent their anger against Chinese people on American soil for ‘being the cause’ of their suffering.
Following the comment, Trump has attracted vicious criticism from his followers on Twitter, but also muted support from what Americans fondly call his base.
The reckless, misinformed comment comes amid economic turbulence in stock markets, which has been partly attributed to lack of leadership among America’s leaders in controlling the Coronavirus.
Signs of incompetence in America’s leadership against the Coronavirus have been many. It started when President Trump ignored WHO caution to prepare for the worst case scenario, when he declared that the Chinese virus had no chance against America.
And when the first case of infection was identified in the US, he initially declined to be tested, despite coming into contact with people who later tested positive.
The rapid spread of the Coronavirus in the United States and Europe that was blamed by the WHO on lack of aggressive measures, has finally led to an economic crisis as new cases and deaths begun to soar at the start of this week.
This resulted into a cancellation of public events, school closures, restaurants and bars that altogether led to fears the world’s biggest economy was sliding into recession.
The stock markets in the US fell by more than 12%, its worst since 1987. Other exchanges across Europe and Asia recorded similarly poor performance.