Soon after Joe Biden sworn in as President of United States, have issued an executive Presidential order to ban the usage of terms like Chinese Virus or Wuhan Virus although technically the virus originated from China. Biden’s order directly intended, focusing on COVID-19, its references on its origination and a potential discrimination on Asians, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The President’s Order as it reads:
“The Federal Government must recognize that it has played a role in furthering these xenophobic sentiments through the actions of political leaders, including references to the COVID-19 pandemic by the geographic location of its origin,” Biden said in the order. “Such statements have stoked unfounded fears and perpetuated stigma about Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and have contributed to increasing rates of bullying, harassment, and hate crimes against AAPI persons.”
The executive order directs the federal agencies and government departments to take actions on usage of virus terminology. It’s clear that the objective of the Executive order is to ensure all federal government documents, statements, and other usage of terminology pertaining the virus must not exhibit the racism, discrimination against Asians, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
Although the Executive order tried to put a cap on discrimination and racism against people of specific community, the real question is whether this order is really practiced when it comes to the COVID-19 variants. Since the first wave, there are few variants that emerged in various countries after the virus mutation. The first mutation was widely called as UK variant, then South African variant, Brazil. variant, Indian double variant. These variants were geo tagged with country name, although WHO has named these variants with a scientific term like B117, P1, B.1.617; but the main stream media and other organizations prefer calling these variants using the country name. Interestingly, the same media which vehemently opposed calling the Chinese Virus as racist and discriminatory, are now calling the mutant variants with country name. This is so hypocritical on their part with a selective reporting. The Main Stream Media (MSMs) mostly provide a bias reporting with a selective narrative and people knew about their political affiliations.
Political parties in India like Indian National Congress have used the term Indian variant to highlight the COVID second wave and never cared about the Indians living abroad about the possible racial discrimination. Their top party leaders including Rahul Gandhi have tweeted several times and used the word Indian variant. Not limited to that but their party leaders went on using the term Indian variant on international media like CNN , NY Times , Washington Post. Interestingly, the same media doesn’t want to name the Chinese virus but happy to name the variants by country name..
Interestingly, even WHO too have opposed in naming the country by variant and warned of detrimental effect on people. It makes livid and carelessness when the world is calling the mutations with country name. With surging COVID-19 cases In US last summer, the elite institutes like Yale school of medicine condemned calling the virus as Chinese Virus but unfortunately the same Yale school of medicine remained mum when media is reporting it with country name. Isn’t it too selective and racist on their part? It is the responsibility of media who were eloquent about the nomenclature must practice on what they preach.