Lana Condor Calls Out Trump for ‘Racist Words & Actions’ Over Coronavirus Comments

The coronavirus is on everyone’s minds these days, and for good reason. People are tuning into their televisions and reading news sites for the latest information. Many are outspoken on how they feel President Donald Trump is handling the situation and whether they agree or disagree with his handling of the situation. This includes celebrities as well, who often use their platforms for this exact type of thing. 

How Donald Trump is rubbing people the wrong way

President Trump is no stranger to controversy surrounding his statements, especially his tweets. He often rubs people the wrong way, saying things that can be construed as hateful, one-sided, or even things that go against what a president should represent. 

His latest upset comes in the form of his tweets about the coronavirus, or COVID-19, the official name. Trump does not call it by its name, instead, referring to it as the ‘Chinese Virus.’

This has caused a big stir in the Asian-American community and many other communities as well. Trump doesn’t seem to think he is doing anything wrong, though, and even told a journalist during a press conference that it wasn’t racist at all.

Lana Condor called Trump out on Twitter

Lana Condor at the 2019 MTV Movie and TV Awards.
Lana Condor | Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for MTV

After seeing the tweet and a fellow Asian-American’s response to it, actress Lana Condor retweeted the tweet and then tweeted some of her thoughts. Condor, who was adopted by Caucasian American parents from her homeland of Vietnam, identifies as Asian and the stigma directly affects her.

After the president’s tweet, young adult author Ellen Oh tweeted that the phrase was racist and deliberate, calling for Trump to use the name and not endanger the lives of all Asian-Americans by giving people someone to blame in times of fear. Condor agreed, saying that it shouldn’t be called anything other than its official name.

In an open letter to Trump, Condor shared her thoughts on his tweet and his use of the improper, potentially hurtful name. The actress — known for her candid, body-positive, and advocate-minded nature — called him out for not knowing better and not leading by example, saying he should be ashamed of himself. 

The coronavirus is not the ‘Chinese virus’

The reason referring to the Chinese Virus is a problem for many is that it causes a problem that isn’t necessary. There has been an increase in hate crimes, discrimination against Asian Americans, and xenophobic feelings in general. The growth has been so prevalent that the National Council for Asian Pacific Americans sent a letter to Congress on March 11th to encourage them to denounce the discrimination and racist behavior publicly. 

Back in 2015, the World Health Organization put out new guidelines on naming viruses to avoid offending people. Viruses stopped being named after the country of origin and instead started being referred to by the virus itself or the symptoms.

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) began in 2012 in Saudi Arabia, but by the new guidelines, it would have likely been named after the virus causing it, another coronavirus strain. Maybe Covid-12? Either way, this is why the new coronavirus isn’t called the Chinese Virus and instead is called Covid-19. 

Some people feel that these more politically correct names can cause confusion because they are so similar and don’t distinguish them well. Others think that history shows how stigmatizing names can be: AIDS used to be called ‘gay-related immune deficiency,’ while the swine flu that wasn’t even transmitted by pigs led to the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of pigs after the outbreak. The bottom line: naming a disease shouldn’t illicit racism.