Pandemic Ethics Observations, Part I: The Name Game

Let’s start with the name, shall we? Until further notice, Ethics Alarms will call this thing the Wuhan virus, in part out of sheer orneriness, but also because…

  • It’s better than the “Whaeveryoucallit Virus”
  • There’s no Wuhan beer that will unfairly lose money because people are so stupid.
  • Covid-19 is a terrible name for anything, even the 19th covid, whoever he is
  • Chinese coronavirus and Chinese virus are just OK, but the first is too long, and the second is too generic. Like I prefer to use destinations like Sichuan and Mandarin when talking about Chinese food, even bad Chinese food. I’m sure that’s racist too.
  • The people strenuously objecting to the name are almost without exception utter jerks. Such as…

Omar’s logic here is so self-evidently contrived that if someone can’t immediately explain why, I’m not going to waste my time explaining it to them.

…but mostly because the virus still appears to have largely emanated from the Wuhan Province in China, and I’ll be damned if the hypocritical race-baiting efforts by the news media and political correctness addicts are going to dictate how I communicate.

The Federalist’s Ben Wiengarten properly aligned the anti-“Wuhan virus” campaign thusly:

[W]hat are we to say of those currently parroting the CCP line that calling the coronavirus by its proper name—whether “Chinese coronavirus,” “Wuhan virus,” or perhaps the most apt “Chinese Communist Party coronavirus”—including its place of origin, is racist? Would it be too gentle to say these individuals are acting like unregistered foreign agents for Beijing? This is not hyperbole because Chinese propaganda has simultaneously aimed not only to delink the coronavirus from China by calling those raising the basic fact racist, but to deflect and even shift the blame to America as part of some kind of absurd conspiracy. No American should give the CCP the satisfaction of spinning blatant propaganda when the CCP is responsible for wreaking this havoc on the world.

Maybe that’s a bit too harsh.

But not much.

As we shall see, the news media and social media are far more interested in somehow using the health crisis to destroy President Trump than they are in being responsible, conveying accurate facts and perhaps even helping the nation get through all of this as well as possible.  The name game quickly became part of the arsenal.

“We are starting to see a message shift here,” CNN’s Chris Cuomo said on two days ago. “Because you are starting to hear the Republicans, especially Trump Co., calling it the Wuhan or the Chinese Coronavirus, they’re looking for someone to blame.” Granted, he’s a moron, but the Non-Trump Deranged media was quick to go to the videotape and prove that the news media, including CNN, had used the “racist” term for quite some time, until someone concocted the race-baiting idea. Fortunately we have screen shots, and curmudgeons who have searched through the web archives to capture the hypocrisy, such as The Times in January, before its pundits started calling the name racist;

and this side to side smoking gun, also from the Times..

Similar from The Washington Post, of course…

While other media sources leap to Big Lie #4: “Trump Is A Racist/White Supremacist”:

This is among the least sinister of the Democratic Party/”resistance”/mainstream media (The Axis of Unethical Conduct, aka the AUC) ploys to weaponize what should be an entirely apolitical and unifying national event.  It is also illustrative, however, and more evidence of how untrustworthy the U.S. institution is that a democracy should be able to depend upon at times like these, but obviously cannot.

(Part II is here.)

18 thoughts on “Pandemic Ethics Observations, Part I: The Name Game

  1. There’s nothing more to say after you’ve heard WASH YOUR HANDS the first thousand times. Nothing. The virus — that’s what I call it. Like HIV, it took some time before the original (maybe) got traced back from the first notable outbreak to where it, probably, came from decades before. In this case, the virus outbreak came from a fish market in Wuhan, China, with origins already traced back to 2012 in Jordan and Saudi Arabia. So, The Virus it is. It’s not going to be confused with anything else, after all. But the virus can just take up so much room, even in 72-point headlines (collectors are saving their newspapers). Just look at all the empty space — no big events to write up, no celebrities to report coming up close and personal to sick people, nothing as important to write about, no wedding announcements, nor big funerals, for that matter, no new for the future!. Our media has gotten dead lazy. They don’t have to go out and look for news, or gossip or editorial matter — it comes parading before their eyes several times a day as they yawn over their computers: Ah, here comes President Trump to the rescue. W ASH YOUR HANDS EPIDEMIC-PANDEMIC ‘WARE CROWDS WASH DON’T TOUCH STAY HOME WATCH TV YOUR HANDS oooh! look! Trump is being accused of something new. Yay! All’s right in the world.

      • What interested me was your other comment: “I will go where I want to go.”

        Now, I cannot know what will happen with this virus. I have to engage in interpretive speculation. But it does not at all seem irrational to look as clearly and directly at what is likely to happen. And it does not look to be a *pretty picture*. Therefore, but without having absolute certainty, what you have jjust said is not helpful. You are implying that it is all hype. That just does not stand to reason.

        Here, where I live, when and if this virus begins to infect widely, there are far fewer established mechanisms of protection, and many times more vulnerable people.

        What I find interesting in the entire situation is that *what happens* will ultimately cut through any *divisive politics*. A situation will demand that people adapt to it, and not in any other sense the other way around. The only way to deal with this, then, is through an absolute seriousness and clear-seeing.

        I would much prefer though if what I sense as your dismissive reaction will turn out to be the most rational.

      • Now, now! Let’s not let crass cynicism outrun our respect for people who can talk really fast for a very long time while they read the script (which may or may not have been written by them in the first place) from their monitor with amazingly trick eyesight while still managing to express relevant emotion to the camera. Some of them can play Parcheesi under the desk at the same time, but they’re not very good at it.

  2. Trump cut the cdc budget and fired the pandemic team in 2018!! Snopes even says it’s true. Plus, Trump lies every single day… that’s what I’m seeing. Here’s the snopes. Please slice and dice. Lol
    1. It would be responsible for all budgets to be cut. There’s a lot of overspending going on.
    2. How does the pandemic team get rehired? I assumed the head of CDC does this?
    3. Shouldn’t FEMA and CDC be more ummm. Idk linked?
    4. Trump had a mass exodus of people when he got elected and many more refused to work with him. This is part of what happened, I think. Took him forever to get appointments made. Now I’m not excusing this, but I’m saying if there wasn’t so much resistance in everything, perhaps it wouldn’t have been overlooked.

    • Your credibility takes a serious hit when you start out using “Snopes” as a source. The recommendation of the CDC budget cut was just that, as part of the budget submitted before Wuhan Virus hit the radar. No funding was actually reduced. The “pandemic task force” was down to about 2 or 3 people who had nothing to do then.

      The reason Trump got elected was to get rid of as many people from the previous administration as possible. Its a feature, not a bug.

      Get a grip.

      • I don’t think you understood what I said. I said this is what people are saying, not what I believe personally. Did you read what I said? Agreed snopes is garbage.

  3. Wildfires are named based on the geographical location of where they started. Why should a virus be any different?

    Never mind. I’m offended and I’m going out to buy toilet paper.

  4. I agree there’s nothing wrong with the name Wuhan corona/virus. I do think that COVID-19, as the scientific name for the disease, is better. We can argue the merits of using the prior name for the purpose of pushing back against the PC tides.

    • Doesn’t “COVID-19” simply stand for “Corona Virus December 2019?” There are evidently any number of coronaviruses. Some of which are involved in the common cold, I believe.

  5. I think it should be named WARS (Wuhan Acute Respiratory Syndrome) or WuARS if that’s too confusing, in the manner of it’s direct relatives, SARS and MERS.

    But alas, political correctness has asserted it’s toxic self and destroyed our reason, as it always does. SARS-CoV-2 is another deliberate ambigulation to avoid a negative imputation to China. Even the original, SARS, was such — after all, it could have easily been Asian Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome ASARS, but it’s much more politically correct to impute negativity to the Middle East than Asia.

    Until recently, at least.

  6. As the naming debate continues…

    What’s the over under on the Leftwing media beginning to throw out the idea of calling it the “Trump’s Plague”? 3 days? 4 days from now?

    As the Chinese communists are desperate to distance themselves from this global fiasco, I have no doubt their boot licking allies in the American media will work on something like this.

    • A Georgetown prof asked me “why are you still calling it the Wuhan virus?” I was too nice to say “because I, unlike you, do not meekly cave to the directives of the woke mob.”

      • I didn’t think I’d be surprised by the leftists-at-large…but I really am. They really surprised me without how much they’ve decided the Wuhan Virus is the right crisis to convince the people that only totalitarianism is the solution to life’s problems.

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