Lieu, in a column for The Washington Post headlined “Trump is stoking xenophobic panic in a time of crisis,” explained how the president’s insistence on using the term “causes harm both to Asian Americans and to the White House’s response to this life-threatening pandemic.”
“I cannot stand idly by while the president uses his pulpit to exacerbate xenophobia in a time of crisis,” Lieu wrote.
Lieu debunked Trump’s claim that he is “just trying to be accurate” by describing where the crisis originated, noting “there is a difference between saying the virus is from China and saying it is a Chinese virus.”
Lieu noted how World Health Organization guidelines advise leaders against using geographic locations to name infectious diseases to avoid stigmatization, and suggested Trump’s rhetoric had contributed to the rising number of assaults on Asian Americans.
“For the president to continue using rhetoric that the Chinese find insulting is not helpful. It is not one country’s problem to solve,” Lieu concluded. “We are in a worldwide, life-threatening pandemic, and we all need to work together. I wish the president could set aside his xenophobia for the moment while we try to keep Americans from dying.”