Why Donald Trump Sued For Referring CoronaVirus As ‘China Virus’?

By Neha Choudhary-

We are all familiar with the tactics for racism that Donald Trump has always been into throughout his presidency. He disparaged Mexicans, denounced the Muslim community, and a very recent happening where he unremittingly attacked the Black Lives Matter protests.

Herein, in the present scenario, amid pandemic, he willfully attached geography to the virus and addressed it with intolerant and biased phrases against certain communities which experienced a striking rise in incidents of hatred and violence.

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The former United States President, Donald Trump has reportedly being sued for calling the Corona Virus the ‘China Virus’ and the analogous terms throughout his presidency last year. Trump’s intentional repetition of the phrase ‘China Virus’, ‘Kung Flu’, ‘Wuhan Virus’ among other phrases in reference to Corona Virus points to the numerous times when the former president in his speeches and statements has used such strident comments and racists slurs which were against Asian and Chinese Americans.

Trump’s outrageous conduct carried throughout the COVID outbreak with imprudent disregard of whether his conduct would cause Chinese Americans to suffer emotional distress. The Asian American community since the onset of the Corona Virus has been facing hatred and the comment made by the former president directly points towards the spike in hate crimes against Asian Americans and encouragement of racism across the country in a way.

The Public Health Organization said that “the official name for the disease was deliberately chosen to avoid stigmatization” as “this is not a ‘Wuhan virus’, ‘Chinese virus’ or ‘Asian virus’.“ The deliberate use of the words by the United States President harmed the sentiments of the indicated community since the origin of the Corona Virus has not been determined yet.

A Chinese – American Civil Rights Group has reportedly sued America’s former president Donald Trump for using the term ‘China Virus’ in reference to COVID – 19. The Chinese – American Civil Rights Coalition (CACRC) sued Donald Trump and filed a complaint in federal court in New York for condemning xenophobic attacks and spreading hatred against Asian Americans and how his ‘baseless’ comment would create sentimental distress to Chinese Americans and severely injured communities of Asian Americans.

The suit against the former president was filed on the same day when President Joe Biden signed the bill which was meant to counter the increase in anti-Asian hate crime across the United States.

In the complaint, the Civil Rights group has referred the Trump’s comment as ‘baseless’ and the phrase routinely used by him in his speech to blame China for unleashing the Virus was ‘extreme and outrageous’ according to the lawsuit. CACRC’s main concern behind filing the complaint was to highlight the comment made by the former president and how the comment would cause mental harm to the Chinese Americans.

CACRC allegedly sued Donald Trump for $1 to each Asian American, Pacific Islander living in the United States that would amount to approximately $22.9m as an apology.

According to the news reports, the money collected would be used to establish a museum to highlight the history of Asian Americans across the United States and their contributions to the US. The complaint was filed for defamation and emotional distress due to continued use of the phrase and claimed that the phrase should not have been used as it is not clear where the virus has been likely originated.

It has also been noticed that the continuous and intentional use of the expression by the former president were even against the World Health Organization’s (WHO) guidelines and the repetitive advice from his administration, stressing that “words could cause consequences when said by those at powerful and influential positions” as has been mentioned in the complaint. International health officials avoided tying up the novel virus to geography explicitly because inflammatory and racist comments and tweets would create a rallying cry for hate crimes.

However, Trump defended his use of the words and argued for his comment that it is not racist at all as he was referring to Corona Virus’s geographic origin and that it has been originally being originated in Wuhan, China and not to defame or harm Asian Americans.


He continued using and arguing about the phrase ‘China Virus’ even after he was sued for defamation by the Chinese American Civil Rights Coalition. He even accused China of keeping the crucial information about Corona Virus under wraps for weeks and deterring the threats related to the novel disease as claimed by United States Intelligence reports.

In his tweet, Trump about the Asian Americans said that Corona Virus “is not their fault in any way, shape or form”. He even tweeted to protect Asian Americans and it seemed that he finally acknowledged the discrimination they were going through, however, failed to admit his contribution to the racism.

The senior adviser for Trump, Jason Miller, has reportedly responded to the suit filed and addressed the complaint as the ‘idiotic and insane lawsuit’ which is specious and will be dismissed in the courtroom. He dismissed the lawsuit as “a complete joke”.

According to the activists, the way Trump addressed the phrase has significantly contributed to the attacks which people of Asian origin across the United States have been facing over the recent months. The organization claims that the phrase used by Trump would surge the violence against Chinese and Asian Americans.

There have been reports of nearly about 150 percent surge for Anti-Asian hate crime in 16 major cities of the US in 2020 as compared to 2019. Researchers and advocacy groups who have been collecting the reports of harassment and attacks against Asian Americans since the beginning of the pandemic have noticed the verbal and physical torture they were going through.

The report clearly states that Trump’s language has only fuels up the environment of hatred and xenophobia against Asian Americans. According to the recent report, the worst violent scenario against people of Asian origin was recorded when eight people including six women were shot dead by a 21-year-old man. It has also been identified that just before the 1st United States Corona Virus death more than 1000 instances were reported of animosity against Asian Americans.

Activists blamed Trump’s rhetoric for the spike in violence against Asian and Chinese Americans amid Corona Virus. As per the complaint filed by the Civil Rights group, the intentional and defamatory words used by the former president adds up to the service of his personal and political interests with an astonishing level of actual malice and negligence, hence severely injuring the Asian and Chinese American communities in the process.

Due to increased outrage against Asian and Chinese Americans after the former president’s controversial usage of phrases in his speech, Biden administration press secretary Jen Psaki in the wide-ranging press conference said that the racist comments made by the prior administration that is the former president, Donald Trump were ‘inaccurate’ and ‘unfair’ perceptions which threatened Asian Americans.


The Corona Virus pandemic is an ongoing global pandemic and has been proved to be destruction for every community and country whether it’s the alleged origin place China or America on the other hand. The former president of the United States intentionally in his speech used phrases that were extreme and outrageous for a certain community.

The usage of the words ‘China Virus’, ‘Kung Flu’, ‘Wuhan Virus’ while referring to the Corona Virus has strikingly spreading hatred against Chinese and Asian Americans in the US. There were reports by researchers, scholars, and advocates that Trump’s phrase has considerably given rise to the violence and worked as fuel in the environment of hatred against Asian and Chinese Americans.

The Chinese – American Civil Rights Coalition has sued Donald Trump for $22.9m approximately for calling Corona Virus as ‘China Virus’ and condemning xenophobic attacks against Chinese and Asian Americans.

He has been using these phrases in his speech and comments despite the guideline by WHO and advice from his administration. It is important now for leaders to use neutral language because defamatory and controversial words can influence people’s behavior towards particular groups and can spread hatred against the community.


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