Sadiq Khan criticises “Chinese virus” label used by Trump

Khan said the term was "disgraceful and incited hatred against Chinese people.

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has said that using words like ‘Chinese virus’ to describe Covid 19 is “disgraceful” and leads to hatred towards Chinese people.

US President Donald Trump has repeatedly labelled Covid 19 the “Chinese virus” despite repeated hate crime attacks on Chinese-Americans.

When asked about hate crime at Mayor’s Question Time, Khan said: “Covid 19 is Covid 19. It is not ‘a Chinese virus’ and to use words like that is disgraceful and is the sort of language which leads to incitement and hatred towards people of Chinese origin.”

“We are a city which celebrates our diversity and we think it is a strength not a weakness. It’s really important that we do not fall into the trap of some to use this virus as an excuse to denigrate, demean and humiliate people.”

The US President has singled out Khan, one of Europe’s most high-profile muslim politicians, for criticism over the last few years. Trump has called Khan “dumb”, “short” and a “stone cold loser”.

Khan has criticised Trump’s policies, like the ‘Muslim ban’ policy which Khan called “outrageous”.

A recent poll showed that, before the London Mayoral election was postponed due to covid 19, Khan was on course to gain a second successive record vote share.

The World Health Organisation has said that diseases should not be named after places as it stigmatises those places and people from them.

Joe Lo is a co-editor of Left Foot Forward

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