Trump Sued For $22 Million For Calling COVID The ‘China Flu’
Former president Donald Trump is being sued by a civil rights organisation for referring to coronavirus as the ‘China flu’.
Following the outbreak of COVID-19 last year, then-president Trump was quick to posit the idea that China was to blame for the spread, as he repeatedly described the virus in terms linked to its speculated place of origin, including ‘China virus’, the ‘Wuhan virus’ and ‘Kung Flu’.
Critics have slammed the use of such terms, and now the Chinese American Civil Rights Coalition (CACRC) has taken action by filing a lawsuit against Trump that claims he caused a lot of harm to Chinese Americans with the phrase ‘China flu’.
The lawsuit, which has been cited by TMZ, alleges that Trump’s use of the derogatory terms have contributed to the rise in violence against Asian Americans that has been reported in the wake of the pandemic.
The CACRC argues the Republican should have known better when it came to his choice of language, and that he should never have used the term ‘China flu’ because it’s not entirely clear where the virus actually originated.
Though many of the early cases of coronavirus were in the city of Wuhan, China, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian stated in November that this ‘doesn’t necessarily mean that the virus originated in China’, The Guardian reports.
He added, ‘Origin tracing is an ongoing process that may involve multiple countries and regions.’
Earlier this year, a study from the University of California found that the use of anti-Asian hashtags on Twitter rose ‘precipitously’ following a March 2020 tweet in which Trump referred to coronavirus as ‘the Chinese virus’.
According to Forbes, the study’s lead author, Yulin Hswen, said using racial terms to describe a disease ‘can result in the perpetuation’ of stigma. He added that the increase in anti-Asian terms posted on Twitter following Trump’s tweet may be a ‘proxy of growth in anti-Asian sentiment’.
Furthermore, a study from Stop AAPI Hate determined that Trump emerged as ‘the greatest spreader among U.S. elected officials of anti-Asian American rhetoric’ when it came to tweets posted throughout the pandemic.
Trump is being sued for defamation and infliction of emotional distress, with the CACRC seeking $1 for every Asian American and Pacific Islander living in the United States, which equates to roughly $22.9 million.
If successful in the suit, the organisation reportedly plans to use the money to establish a museum showcasing the history and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) to the US.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk
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