Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) faced fierce backlash on social media after he defended fellow Republicans — led by President Donald Trump — who insist on calling the coronavirus by the racist term the “Chinese Virus.”
Cornyn also drew scorn for falsely linking China to other public health crises.
The lawmaker told a reporter on Wednesday that China was to blame for the coronavirus “because the culture where people eat bats and snakes and dogs and things like that, these viruses are transmitted from the animal to the people and that’s why China has been the source of a lot of these viruses like SARS, like MERS, the swine flu and now the coronavirus.”
“So I think they have a fundamental problem, and I don’t object to geographically identifying where it’s coming from,” he added.
When the reporter told Cornyn that many Asian Americans feel the term “Chinese Virus” is racist, he replied: “Oh, I disagree. We’re not talking about Asians, we’re talking about China where these viruses emanate from and which have created this pandemic.”
“Just so we’re all clear: In the middle of a global pandemic, a sitting senator is scapegoating an entire country and peddling racist lies that could very well lead to hate crimes,” tweeted former Labor Secretary Robert Reich.
Check out Cornyn’s comments in the video above and the responses here: