Kamala Harris introduces legislation to condemn phrase 'Chinese Virus' as racist

The Senate Resolution instructs lawmakers to avoid Covid-19 language that could be interpreted as anti-Asian

Updated: May 21, 2020 - 12:46pm

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As Congress tries to pass legislation to help Americans and their businesses survive the coronavirus pandemic, California Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris has introduced a resolution to prevent lawmakers from using the terms “Chinese Virus” and “Wuhan Virus” to reference the novel coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China.

“Kung Flu” also made the list names people should not use.

The resolution, which is cosponsored by fellow Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren, of Massachusetts, and Mazie Hirono, of Hawaii, condemns “all forms of anti-Asian sentiment as related to COVID-19.” The measure has no Republican support. 

According to Senate Resolution 580, public officials and lawmakers should denounce rhetoric of this type in any form, and law enforcement officials should investigate, document, and prosecute any hate crimes against Asian Americans that stem from this sort of language.

A similar resolution has been introduced in the House by New York Democrat Rep. Grace Meng.

President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have used and defended their use of the terms “Wuhan Virus,” and “China Virus,” since the beginning of the pandemic.