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US President Donald Trump continues to use harmful and divisive terms.

James Martin / CNET

For the latest news and information on the pandemic, visit WHO website.

improve dramatically Coronavirus pandemic Into our lives Introduce new phrases in our dictionary, From "flattening the curve" to "social alienation". But especially in recent days has attracted a lot of headlines:Chinese virus. "

In a tweet on Monday, the U.S. will support industries affected by the pandemic, President Donald Trump Coronaviruses are called " viruses" Caused strong opposition on social media From medical and government officials, including New York Mayor Bill Di Blasio. At a news conference two days later, Trump defended the word and continued to use it.

"Because it comes from China," Trump says. "This is not racism at all. It comes from China; that's why. I want to be accurate."

However, Trump's statement contradicted the guidance of the US President. World Health Organization And America's own Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"virus Without Borders, "said Mike Ryan, Executive Director of the WHO Emergency Plan, During the meeting Tuesday. He emphasized the need to be "careful" when describing coronaviruses.

That day, at the House hearing, Robert Redfield, Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Agree with the assessment by Rep. Lois Frankel of Florida that the term is "absolutely wrong".

CNET has policies on how to handle labels and "foreign viruses." Unless we quote someone's text directly, our journalists and editors avoid using these terms-in which case we will provide additional content explaining why the term is inaccurate and how to misunderstand the global nature of this epidemic. I introduced our policy on Twitter Here.

The response is what you imagined appearing on Twitter: a mix of support and criticism. (On Twitter, there is almost no middle ground.)


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The negative response (which questioned why it was wrong to label the by its source) and Trump's defense of the virus label underscored why I believe that, as the executive editor and head of CNET News, and as a Chinese American, It is important that we discuss the social and factual hazards of using the "Chinese virus".

Coronavirus subverts the world and our way of life. The CDC and the World Health Organization, accustomed to responding to various health crises, require governments, the and other organizations to accurately label coronaviruses. This coronavirus causes what is known as 19 The use of "Chinese virus" deviates from the global nature of the pandemic and is not actually used by professionals.

The objection raised by Trump and many of his supporters is that we have historically named viruses by location. There is Spanish flu as well as Ebola and Zika virus. So why fuss now?

Let's come Spanish fluMany name the source of the virus as an example. In fact, it got its name because Spain was the first country to report that its citizens were dying of the flu during World War I, while other countries feared that Spain might hinder its efforts to raise money for the war. Spanish Called French flu, There's some left Researchers think it may originate in Kansas.

Moreover, the situation has . We are more aware of the consequences of using light cavalry. In 2015, WHO establishes best practices Used to name new infectious diseases. The guidelines address the fact that these previous labels have had a negative on certain populations. (this is WHO guidelines for dealing with social stigma)

However, in addition to the facts, the use of the term involves social impacts, responsible journalism, and government and other organizations need to weigh these impacts. Just because we have done something in the past does not mean that it is still right to do so now. For example, how many people do you see smoking indoors or throwing garbage on the floor? It is hoped that someone will be called a "Chinese" without causing any reaction.

Although the president ignored the link between this term and violence against Asians, no Increase in denial of reported incidents all around the world. CNN Last month detailed some of this type of hate crime in the U.S.. Reports keep popping up.

This is home-just this month, my son's Asian-American classmate and his mother were verbally attacked in front of a store. She was more scared, hiding her son in the alley and asking him, "Why is she angry? Doesn't she like my toys?" Shocked? A friend in my feed also reported similar incidents.

That's why Asian American Journalists Association expresses concern Words on "Wuhan virus" and "China coronavirus".

The organization said: "AAAA urges journalists to be cautious about the outbreak of the Chinese coronavirus to ensure an accurate and fair description of Asian and Asian Americans and to avoid fostering xenophobia and racism that have emerged since the outbreak . "

Acting as actor Daniel Dae Kim Lost with Hawaii five-0, Post on Instagram He was diagnosed with COVID-19, so he begged to end violence against Asian Americans and condemned the idea of ​​linking the disease to the place.

"I don't think the geographic location here is more important than people who are sick or dying," he said.

What matters is how we describe the virus, because its effects are very real. To be clear-I dare not emphasize that Asians do not spread COVID-19 because of Asians. This is based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The debate over whether governments, the media and other organizations should use the term should be second only to our efforts to combat the spread and stimulus of COVID-19. Development of vaccines. This is a side note to our bigger problem and it's easy to wash your hands. I would rather take the time to help plan our Core coronavirus coverageLike how Tackling Social Alienation Rather than debate the value of two words.

But we cannot ignore this issue. This can even be saved permanently Further violence Against asians, Whether in the United States or abroad.

And because some people keep asking "why fuss?"

A more appropriate question to ask is: "When we describe it in a better and more accurate way, why choose a label that would unnecessarily harm and exclude people, including fellow Americans?"

Using insulting terms does not help. The world needs more cooperation and communication to fight this epidemic. Separating us will only exacerbate the problem.

"We need solidarity," said Ryan of the WHO. "We need to together."

"Unity." "Together." These are the words we all need in our dictionary.

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