Actor George Takei is taking issue with President Trump referring to the coronavirus as the “Chinese virus,” contending that the phrase is “sending a signal to the haters in his constituency.”
The Star Trek actor, in a Saturday appearance on the left-wing network MSNBC, said that the president’s decision to refer to the coronavirus — which originated in Wuhan, China — as the “Chinese virus” sends “a cold chill throughout the Asian-American community” and added that Trump is “sending a signal to the haters in his constituency, and there are plenty of them there.”
Takei provided a number of examples, including an incident shared by NYPD’s hate crimes unit depicting a man attacking a woman wearing a face mask in the Chinatown subway station in February. A witness alleged hearing the man use the words “diseased bitch.”
Takei also cited the lynchings of 20 Chinese men in the central plaza of Los Angeles in 1870s, as well the internment of Japanese-Americans under Democrat President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
“So we have this history. We want the term to be eliminated completely, but that sycophant Mike Pompeo used it publicly as well,” he added, asking Trump to “not be a participant” in the coronavirus tasks force briefings.
Indeed, Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have referred to the virus as either the “Chinese virus” or “Wuhan virus” — a decision Trump has repeatedly defended.
“I have to call it where it came from, it did come from China, so I think it’s a very accurate term,” Trump told reporters at a coronavirus press conference last week.
Takei, however, put his own spin on the virus, declaring in a tweet on Saturday that it “acts just like Trump.” He also used the hashtag #TrumpVirus.
“The coronavirus acts just like Trump. It gains a foothold and builds on ignorance. It grows because people don’t want to listen to science and the experts,” he said. “It shuts down our borders and cuts us off from each other. And it’s a symbol of our utter lack of preparedness. #TrumpVirus”
The coronavirus acts just like Trump. It gains a foothold and builds on ignorance. It grows because people don't want to listen to science and the experts. It shuts down our borders and cuts us off from each other. And it's a symbol of our utter lack of preparedness. #TrumpVirus
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) March 21, 2020
The actor-turned-activist is not the only celebrity to demonize Trump in the wake of the global pandemic. Actor Sean Penn suggested that worries of the Trump administration exploiting the use of the military during the coronavirus crisis may be warranted.
“I know that it would also be of some concern to people that the administration might exploit the use of the military in some ways,” he said during a Friday appearance on CNN.