New Delhi: With more than 4.2 lakh confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide and a total lockdown in many countries, the anger against China, the country where the infection started spreading, is palpable on social media.
The hashtag #MakeChinaPay began trending on Twitter Wednesday, with people expressing their frustration at China, and many calling for a boycott of Chinese products.
— Tejas Bhalerao ➐ (@tejasbhalerao) March 25, 2020
Forced into quarantine and self-isolation due to the deadly virus, people are calling for revocation of China’s position as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, and are also demanding that the country pay compensation to other countries infected by the virus.
— Harsh (@Iamharsh999) March 25, 2020
— Harrod (@law_harrod) March 24, 2020
In the US, some people have taken this beyond social media and have filed lawsuits against China, blaming it for the coronavirus outbreak. While one lawsuit was filed in Florida, a second has been filed in Texas for $20 trillion by lawyer and right-wing activist Larry Klayman.
We are deeply grateful to our readers & viewers for their time, trust and subscriptions.
Quality journalism is expensive and needs readers to pay for it. Your support will define our work and ThePrint’s future.
Klayman’s advocacy group Freedom Watch and Buzz Photos filed the lawsuit in the US District Court in North Texas, alleging that the novel coronavirus was “designed by China to be a biological weapon of war”.
Klayman accused the Chinese of developing the virus in a laboratory with the aim to “kill US citizens and other persons and entities in nations perceived to be an enemy of China”.
#Gravitas | More people are filing lawsuits against China over the Coronavirus outbreak.
After a case in Florida, A lawyer in Texas has filed a $20 Trillion lawsuit against China. @palkisu has the details. pic.twitter.com/8WmrZE4zk6
— WION (@WIONews) March 24, 2020
Even US President Donald Trump and senior members of his administration have been referring to Covid-19 as the ‘Chinese virus’.
The United States will be powerfully supporting those industries, like Airlines and others, that are particularly affected by the Chinese Virus. We will be stronger than ever before!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 16, 2020
In response, China Xinhua News, the country’s official state-run press agency, called the move racist and said, “Racism is not the right tool to cover your own incompetence.”
Racism is not the right tool to cover your own incompetence pic.twitter.com/LmGDyPsULt
— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) March 17, 2020
In order to curb the stigma against China, UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) also clarified that “viruses have no nationality” and that the “fight against coronavirus needs science and not stigma”.
Meanwhile, Chinese Ambassador to India Sun Weidong condemned the labelling of Covid-19 as ‘Chinese Virus’ and said he hoped India would oppose such a narrow mindset.
Wang Yi said it’s not acceptable and detrimental to international cooperation to label the virus and stigmatise China, hope India oppose such narrow mindset. Dr. Jaishankar agreed not to label the virus and the international community should send strong signal of solidarity.
— Sun Weidong (@China_Amb_India) March 24, 2020
The novel coronavirus first broke out in Wuhan city in China’s Hubei province in December 2019, and has now spread to 197 countries across the world. China has the highest number of reported cases — more than 81,000 — while Italy has recorded the highest death toll from the virus. Nearly 7,000 people have died in the country, and Italy is still struggling to contain the infection.
News media is in a crisis & only you can fix it
You are reading this because you value good, intelligent and objective journalism. We thank you for your time and your trust.
You also know that the news media is facing an unprecedented crisis. It is likely that you are also hearing of the brutal layoffs and pay-cuts hitting the industry. There are many reasons why the media’s economics is broken. But a big one is that good people are not yet paying enough for good journalism.
We have a newsroom filled with talented young reporters. We also have the country’s most robust editing and fact-checking team, finest news photographers and video professionals. We are building India’s most ambitious and energetic news platform. And we aren’t even three yet.
At ThePrint, we invest in quality journalists. We pay them fairly and on time even in this difficult period. As you may have noticed, we do not flinch from spending whatever it takes to make sure our reporters reach where the story is. Our stellar coronavirus coverage is a good example. You can check some of it here.
This comes with a sizable cost. For us to continue bringing quality journalism, we need readers like you to pay for it. Because the advertising market is broken too.
If you think we deserve your support, do join us in this endeavour to strengthen fair, free, courageous, and questioning journalism, please click on the link below. Your support will define our journalism, and ThePrint’s future. It will take just a few seconds of your time.