Amid US coronavirus disaster, Trump tries to shift focus to China with increasingly anti-Chinese messaging

Ed Sykes

Donald Trump has insisted that deaths from coronavirus (Covid-19) are much higher in China than in the US, despite official statistics painting a far different picture. This comes as Trump and his supporters have been boosting anti-Chinese sentiment as part of his re-election campaign.

The stats

China has more than four times the population of the US but has reported far fewer deaths. At the time of writing, China has reported 4,632 deaths, while the US has reported 41,356. The full reality is difficult to know. Deaths from the virus have not been fully reported in either country because the pandemic is still raging in the US and still being accounted for in China.

A scientific model that US public-health authorities have repeatedly cited, from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, now projects more than 60,000 Covid-19 deaths in the US by August. Its worst-case scenario is for more than 140,000 deaths by then. These projections assume current social distancing is maintained until infections are minimised and the spread is contained.

Making sinophobia mainstream again

Anti-Chinese sentiments (or ‘sinophobia‘) have come into sharp focus in recent weeks in the US. In March, Trump called coronavirus the “Chinese virus” on numerous occasions:

And Trump’s focus on China has continued:

His allies on the right, meanwhile, have taken the same approach. And they’ve even sought to link the opposition Democratic Party to the Chinese government.

Democratic Party responds… by joining in

The tactic of Trump’s likely opponent in the presidential election, Joe Biden, has apparently been to respond in kind:


As many have pointed out, it’s possible to legitimately criticise the Chinese government (and its response to coronavirus); but that must not be the same as ‘sparking hatred‘ against the Chinese people:

Vile results

In an environment where politicians are turning talk of China into a political weapon, meanwhile, this is what’s happening on the ground:

Growing sinophobia is a real danger. And we must stop this racist scourge in its tracks.

Featured image and additional reporting via Press Association

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  • Show Comments
    1. Please don’t let’s kid ourselves that after this is all over (can it ever be over since the nature of ‘the virus’ is wholly new, unpredictable and constantly unknowable even as it rampages selectively?) that there shouldn’t be absolutely a reckoning with China and other global ‘partners in crime’ with regard to the unleashing, whether by mistake or design, a virus of unparalleled insidiousness purpose? Judging by credible reporting available from alternative newsworthy sources – sources peopled by academics, medics and, yes, the odd oddball who attach themselves to the weird and the wonderful just like a crowned virus sticking to a body cell, this virus, arguably mislabelled as a Corona virus, apparently has a history of interest in natal origin going back years in suspect bio-labs first in the West and then the East. We most definitely need to know the Godawful truth pertaining to the present pandemic – otherwise we will not be able to curtail future pandemic outrages perpetrated on us either by nature or by ‘man’.

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