The Washington Post is getting called out for tying variants of the coronavirus to the countries of origin they were discovered in after previously condemning President Trump for his “dangerous” rhetoric about the China-borne illness.
The Post reported on Monday about Moderna’s vaccine being able to protect against two strains of the coronavirus that were discovered in Britain and South Africa that have caused concerns during the world’s efforts to combat the pandemic.
“Moderna vaccine protects against British and South African variants, company says,” the Post’s headline read.
That headline was swiped by former White House for George W. Bush and Fox News contributor Ari Fleischer for the paper’s apparent inconsistencies.
“Wait a minute…After months of being told it was racist to refer to COVID as a ‘Chinese virus’ the WP refers to its new strains as ‘British and South African variants,'” Fleischer tweeted. “So you can use the name of the nation where it comes from, so long as that nation is not China. Got it.”
Among various mainstream media outlets, The Washington Post was vocal in slamming President Trump’s use of the term “China virus” when referring to the coronavirus.
Last March, the Post ran the headline, “Trump has no qualms about calling coronavirus the ‘Chinese Virus.’ That’s a dangerous attitude, experts say.”
The Post reported at the time, “‘It’s racist and it creates xenophobia,’ Harvey Dong, a lecturer in Asian American and Asian diaspora studies with the University of California at Berkeley, told The Post. ‘It’s a very dangerous situation.'”
That report attempted to tie Trump’s rhetoric to the “scores of Asian Americans nationwide” who’ve alleged they were “being targeted in verbal and physical attacks linked to coronavirus fears.”
Another report published days later linked the coronavirus to the 1918 flu and how Spain condemned its “Spanish Flu” label at the time.
“Spain hated being linked to the deadly 1918 flu pandemic. Trump’s ‘Chinese virus’ label echoes that,” the headline read.
The Post went even further with a report published in September, referring to the “Chinese virus” label as a “slur.”
“Trump’s goal in using ‘Chinese virus’ seems to be to avoid blame for the pandemic by redirecting anger towards China. … Foreigners are often blamed for new diseases,” the Post wrote.