Next, there is the class of commentator that sees the pandemic as a perfect excuse to police for problematic language and other culture war favorites. This class includes the Atlantic’s David Frum, who believes that it is racist to refer to the virus by the name of the country and city where it originated.
“Nobody calls the 1919-20 pandemic the Spanish flu anymore,” Frum said this week on social media, “and not because we are soft on the Inquisition. It’s just not a useful way to name a disease.”
Everyone calls it the “Spanish flu,” including David Frum.
“The reason sensible people resist Trump’s urging to call coronavirus ‘China infection’ or ‘Yellow Peril’ or whatever name he’s test-marketing tonight is that it’s just too blinking obvious that his purpose is to redirect attention from his failure to do his job competently,” the Atlantic columnist also complained this week.
The president has never called the virus “China infection” or “yellow peril.” He has called it the “China virus.”
Lastly, there is the class of commentator that has responded to the virus by acting as the unofficial public relations arm of the Chinese Communist Party.