Political commentator and television host Bill Maher said people should label COVID-19 the “Chinese virus,” a label that has been considered offensive and racist by opponents. Maher argued during Friday’s remote episode of Real Time With Bill Maher that scientists have named diseases after where they originated for years. He argued calling it the “Chinese virus” was not racist and insisted China should be blamed for the outbreak.
“Scientists, who are generally pretty liberal, have been naming diseases after the places they came from for a very long time,” Maher said.
“Zika is from the Zika Forest. Ebola is from the Ebola River. Hantavirus? The Hantan River. There’s the West Nile Virus, and Guinea Worm, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and of course the Spanish Flu,” he argued. “So why should China get a pass?”
Maher Doesn’t Think It’s Racist To Call It The ‘Chinese Virus’
Maher denied his commentary was racist. “The PC Police say it’s racist to attack any cultural practice that’s different than our own,” he said. “I say liberalism lost its way when it started thinking like that.”
The TV host specifically took issue with China’s wet markets, where the coronavirus was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan. “It’s not racist to point out that eating bats is bat**** crazy,” he said.
The host continued:
“This isn’t about vilifying a culture. This is about facts, it’s about life and death,” Maher said. “So when people say, ‘What if people hear Chinese Virus and blame China?’ the answer is, we should blame China.
“Not Chinese Americans, but we can’t stop telling the truth because racists get the wrong idea. There are always going to be idiots out there who want to indulge their prejudices, but this is an emergency.
“Sorry Americans, we’re going to have to ask you to keep two ideas in your head at the same time. This has nothing to do with Asian Americans and it has everything to do with China.
“We can’t afford the luxury anymore of non-judginess towards a country with habits that kill millions of people everywhere, because this isn’t the first time. SARS came from China, and the Bird flu, and the Hong Kong flu, and the Asian flu. Viruses come from China like shortstops come from the Dominican Republic.”
Al Gore Said There’s a Connection Between Coronavirus and Climate Change
One of the hosts Maher had on his show was former Vice President Al Gore, who said there was a connection between climate change and the coronavirus. “The scientists have warned us about the coronavirus and they’ve warned us about the climate crisis, and we’ve seen the dangers of waiting to late to heed the warnings of the doctors and scientists on this virus,” Gore said. “We should not wait any longer to heed their warnings about what we’re doing to radically destabilize the earth’s climate. And perhaps that connection is obvious, but some things you think are obvious take some time to become [obvious] to elected government officials.”
President Donald Trump regularly called coronavirus “the Chinese virus.” On March 24, he said he would stop calling it as such. “Look, everyone knows it came out of China, but I decided we shouldn’t make any more of a big deal out of it,” Trump told Fox News. “I think I’ve made a big deal. I think people understand it.”
Trump denied that it was xenophobic. “It’s not racist at all, no, not at all. It comes from China, that’s why. I want to be accurate,” Trump said.