“Formerly respected,” I should say.
The argument here is that it’s unfair to label diseases by their sites of origin because it encourages stigmatization, and stigmatization leads to persecution of innocent people. If China had been forthright in admitting that COVID-19 began in Wuhan, and if China had been transparent about what it knew about the virus’s threat to humans from the start, I’d agree that terms like “Wuhan virus” are gratuitous. No sense scapegoating the regime or the country when they acted in good faith to limit the spread.
But they did not act in good faith to limit the spread. And they’re waging a propaganda war even now to cast doubt on where the virus originated, suggesting at times that it might have been brought to Wuhan by American soldiers. In those Orwellian circumstances, accurately noting where the virus began is less an act of stigmatization than of sanitation. It’s clearing off the muck spread by a sinister regime to cover its tracks.