Former NBA star Jeremy Lin took issue Tuesday with President Trump dubbing the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, as the “Chinese virus” because of alleged racial connotations the name brings with it.
Lin, a 31-year-old Taiwanese-American who currently plays for the Beijing Ducks of the Chinese Basketball Association, tweeted Trump was “empowering” racism by using the term “Chinese virus” to characterize the disease that has affected hundreds of thousands around the globe.
“I wish you would powerfully support the vulnerable people that will suffer due to our mismanagement of this virus, including those that will be affected by the racism you’re empowering,” the former New York Knicks star wrote.
“And I dont wanna hear about no German measles/Spanish flu [because] everyday Asian-Americans [including people] I know are threatened and physically attacked. I dont give a crap about the history of names [right now]. What I do know is this subtle anti-Chinese message only empowers more hate towards Asians.”
Later, when someone mentioned that major media outlets were calling the virus the “Wuhan virus” before the president, Lin responded:
“Can you honestly tell me there is ZERO anti-Chinese sentiment in all his characterizations of the virus? Can you honestly tell me Asians aren’t being unfairly physically attacked today in the US? Is it that hard to use coronavirus or COVID-19? We playin the blame game in a crisis.”
While social media fought over what to call the virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday there were at least 10,400 cases of coronavirus in the U.S. with 150 deaths.