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UC system tells students and faculty not to use term ‘Chinese virus’

Says term projects hatred toward Asian communities

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to bring economic, academic and social activity to a standstill, the University of California system released a guidance document telling all those associated with its network of campuses not to refer to the disease as the “Chinese virus.”

COVID-19, commonly referred to as the coronavirus, originated in the city of Wuhan in the People’s Republic of China in December 2019, leading many to refer to the disease as the “Chinese” or “Wuhan” virus as alternative names.

In its “Equity and Inclusion during COVID-19” memo, UC officials said students, faculty, staff and administrators should “not use terms such as ‘Chinese Virus’ or other terms which cast either intentional or unintentional projections of hatred toward Asian communities, and do not allow the use of these terms by others. Refer to the virus as either ‘COVID-19’ or ‘coronavirus’ in both oral and written communications.”

The issue of what to call the virus has been a point of controversy in recent weeks. President Donald Trump has made a point to call the virus “the Chinese virus” during daily press briefings of his coronavirus task force despite facing criticism for doing so.

The guidance from UC, however, did not just instruct those in the UC family to avoid calling COVID-19 the “Chinese virus.” In addition to general guidance about social distancing and self-quarantining, it featured a laundry list of politically correct buzzwords and instructions.

Prepared by the UC council of chief diversity officers, the guidance is supposed to assist “campus decision makers, faculty, administrators, students and staff on providing supportive positive and inclusive campus climates during the COVID-19 crisis.”

It instructs people to “reject racism, sexism, xenophobia and all hateful or intolerant speech, both in person and online” and to “discourage others from engaging in such behavior.”

Individuals are instructed to “Be inclusive and remember that everyone has different circumstances,” “advocate for students with fewer resources,” and be patient in email, text and video conversations.

Faculty are instructed to “be kind and understanding regarding expectations. Relax requirements that can become impositions, such as demanding business attire for online video meetings or classes, or penalizing participants in online classes for wearing casual attire.”

“Remember that people may be operating without resources and access to many material items and services. Keep the focus on what is most important,” the guidance states.

According to Young America’s Foundation’s Kara Zupkus, who also reported on the memo, “These new guidelines–essentially a speech code aimed at rewriting history–attempt to shield criticism of the communist China regime under the guise of racism and bigotry. It’s another classic attempt of the Left to shut down legitimate criticism and free speech.”

MORE: Stanford epidemiologist warns that coronavirus crackdown is based on bad data

IMAGE: David Hirja / Shutterstock

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