Campaign to Recall CA Gov. Gavin Newsom Called Racist for Referring to Coronavirus as CCP Virus

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (R) looks on during a news conference with Bay Area AAPI lead
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The organization behind the so-far successful effort to recall Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom is now facing charges of racism for language used on its website and on social media, including calling the coronavirus — which originated in Wuhan, China — the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus.

The Recall Gavin Newsom campaign is also being criticized as xenophobic for opposing $50 million given to businesses run by illegal aliens and showering other benefits to people in the United States illegally, including income tax refunds, welfare, medical insurance, food stamps, and free housing.

The San Francisco Chronicle detailed how the recall group responded to the criticism: 

Recall organizers said Sunday night that they planned to remove the reference. Randy Economy, a spokesperson for the recall committee, said the campaign apologizes “if anybody was offended” by it.

“Our campaign is not about dividing Californians, it’s about uniting California by removing this divisive governor,” Economy said. “The people will not tolerate nasty divisive manufactured personal attacks by Gov. Newsom.”

The left is blaming using terms such as the China virus, including its use by former President Donald Trump, as being behind the recent increase in harassment of Asian people in the United States.

“This is the racist rhetoric that is directly responsible for the surge in anti-Asian harassment, verbal harassment and physical attacks,” Cynthia Choi, co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate, an advocacy group, said in the Chronicle report. “It’s deeply painful, and especially in the wake of the Atlanta murders where six of the eight victims were Asian women.”

Courtni Pugh, political director for Newsom’s campaign to oppose the recall, accused the recall group of “vile and racist attacks [that] endanger AAPI Californians.”

Orrin Heatlie, a retired Yolo County, California, sheriff’s sergeant who started the recall campaign, said people who oppose Newsom are just as concerned about racism following an uptick in violence against Asians and Asian Americans.

“In light of those attacks and that violence, we’re just as concerned as they are,” Heatlie said.

Stephen Frank, a conservative consultant and blogger who was a media relations coordinator for the recall, was criticized for calling coronavirus the Wuhan flu on social media but he stands by his posts.

“The reality is the coronavirus did come from China, it did come from Wuhan. It’s just being accurate,” Frank said.

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