As with infamous diseases such as Ebola and Zika, the coronavirus would normally have been named after Wuhan, the city in China where it broke out.
Pressure from the Chinese Communist Party and conflicting political agendas in the United States led to a massive argument over what to call the disease, with the dry and awkward technical designation COVID-19 finding limited purchase in the public imagination. Some are pushing to brand the disease as the “CCP Virus,” naming it after the Chinese Communist Party to hold the party accountable for unleashing it.
The Epoch Times, which now exclusively uses “CCP Virus” as a matter of house style, explained its decision in a March 18 editorial:
The name holds the CCP accountable for its wanton disregard of human life and consequent spawning of a pandemic that has put untold numbers in countries around the world at risk, while creating widespread fear and devastating the economies of nations trying to cope with this disease.
After all, CCP officials knew in early December that the virus had appeared in Wuhan, but they sat on the information for six weeks. They arrested those who tried to warn of the danger, accusing them of spreading “rumors,” and employed the regime’s rigorous censorship to prevent media coverage and to delete any mentions of it from social media.
The editorial noted that the Chinese government is still suppressing information about the coronavirus and running an aggressive propaganda campaign to confuse its origins, a campaign that reached fever pitch last week with conspiracy theories that the virus is an American bio-weapon.
The Epoch Times argued this was not just a matter of properly assigning blame for the outbreak and stressed the importance of warning the world that partnering with the CCP is dangerous:
The name CCP virus also sounds a warning: Those nations and individuals close to the CCP are the ones suffering the worst effects from this virus, as is seen in the raging infections in the CCP’s close ally Iran and in Italy, the only G-7 nation to sign onto the Belt and Road Initiative. Taiwan and Hong Kong, which are highly skeptical of the CCP, have had relatively few infections.
Finally, the CCP virus reminds the people of the world that the source of the virus is itself evil. This is a communist virus, and with the name CCP virus, The Epoch Times reminds the world of the cure: ending the CCP.
Another Epoch Times article on Monday cited support from outside sources for the “CCP Virus” nomenclature, or at least support for the importance of constantly reminding the world about the CCP’s guilt:
“It’s clearly not because of China or the Chinese people that we’re dealing with a global pandemic,” said Robert Spalding, former senior director for strategy at the White House National Security Council and author of “Stealth War: How China Took Over While America’s Elite Slept,” in an interview with The Epoch Times.
“It’s because of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).”
[…] Josh Rogin, a national security columnist for The Washington Post, made a similar case in a March 19 op-ed titled, “Don’t blame ‘China’ for the coronavirus—blame the Chinese Communist Party.”
“Our beef is not with the Chinese people; our problem is with the CCP — its internal repression, its external aggression, and its malign influence in free and open societies,” Rogin wrote.
Mark Hemingway, senior writer for RealClearPolitics, also suggested the name change in a commentary on March 20.
Rogin’s piece at the Washington Post concluded by recommending “CCP Virus” over President Donald Trump’s preferred name “Chinese virus” because “that’s more accurate, and offends only those who deserve it.”White House
Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy is on board:
The Chinese Communist Party is doubling down on its effort to deflect blame for the global pandemic that began in Wuhan late last year. The CCP has immense resources for planting and disseminating falsehoods like the charge that the virus actually was brought there by US Army personnel participating in military games in that city in October.
Unfortunately, China’s Communists can count on American partisans to help them amplify their propaganda. Take, for example, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman who recently dubbed the so-called COVID-19 outbreak the “Trump Pandemic.”
The Communists in China and their friends aren’t just lying about the provenance of this virus. They’re concealing its current status in China. For example, the Party insists not one member of its military has been infected. Really?
A new moniker is making the rounds: “The CCP Virus.”
Works for me.
Taiwan News fired a lengthy editorial broadside at the CCP on Sunday that highlighted the importance of relentlessly pushing back against Chinese Communist propaganda and treated the CCP itself as a viral infection to be cured:
CCP propaganda is working and in many media outlets, far from being the villain, China is being portrayed as the knight in shining armor that will show the rest of the world how to beat Wuhan coronavirus. We must not accept these lies and we must not fall for this deceit.
This is a CCP virus that ultimately will be defeated by Western medicine.
When this happens, the CCP must face the consequences for the death and disruption it has caused. It should pay the price both financially and politically for the mess it has caused.
This situation must never be allowed to happen again and there is only one sure-fire way to ensure that is the case. The CCP must be dismantled and freedom and transparency finally delivered to the world’s most populous nation.
The China human rights watchdogs at Bitter Winter were on the same wavelength Tuesday, ranking the CCP as a more proximate cause of the epidemic than bats or pangolins, two animals commonly blamed for spreading the disease in its early stages.
The Bitter Winter piece argued speculation about the virus emerging from a laboratory near Wuhan has not been “debunked,” as is often claimed. In fact, an enigmatic and quickly erased paper from two Chinese researchers in Guangzhou laid out a theory that wild bats in the Wuhan area do not appear to carry the virus, so if it passed from bats into humans as is often theorized, it more likely came from laboratory bats that could have been released by accident after being used for virus research.
“Chinese propaganda tried to present the CCP as the solution to the virus emergency, while it was in fact the root cause of the problem, with its cover-ups and delays,” the piece concluded.