lørdag 7. mars 2020

Coronavirus: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo switches disease name to ‘Wuhan virus’ as it spreads in the US

The US and China appeared headed towards a fresh row on Friday after Washington’s top diplomat Mike Pompeo for the second day running referred to the coronavirus as the “Wuhan virus” – ignoring pleas from Beijing and world health officials for the public to avoid using names for the Covid-19 disease that could incite racial discrimination.

Pompeo's new nomenclature for the virus coincided with a rising tide of criticism that President Donald Trump’s administration is facing over its response to community transmission of the virus in the United States. Questions have been swirling over a range of policy hiccups, including a shortage of diagnostic test kits in the US and increasing signs that the Trump administration’s bullish view of the effectiveness of travel restrictions in the early days of the outbreak may have been off the mark.

Pompeo’s use of the term also follows assertions by Chinese officials this week that the virus did not originate in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, as has been widely presumed. The virus has spread far and wide since infections began in the city in December, with the number of people sickened by it worldwide surpassing 100,000 on Friday.