Unscientific surmise that Covid was spread by Wuhan lab is racist

Beijing: The “lab leak lie” is racist. To be clear, the unscientific surmise that COVID-19 was spread intentionally or unintentionally by a Chinese government laboratory in Wuhan is racist. From the beginning, this lie was an expression of dog-whistle politics, one that has exploited longstanding racial stereotypes, and that has in turn deepened anti-Asian racism in many countries around the world. The fact that the Donald Trump administration promoted the lab leak lie in 2020 is not surprising. Before the outbreak, Trump had already demonized Democrats and centrists in his own party. He’d demonized black Americans resisting police brutality. He’d demonized American allies. He’d demonized people from developing countries. He’d demonized immigrants and Latinx, even those who were American citizens. And above all he’d demonized China—its economy, its technologies, and above all its political system. All of this played well to his political base—disaffected working class whites who wanted to blame someone for their falling fortunes.
So after the virus was first recognized in Wuhan, after it spread globally, it was only a matter of time before Trump started calling it the “China virus.” It was only a matter of time before the white men in Washington completely lost control of containment efforts. Having failed to contain the virus, having failed in their larger strategic ambition to contain China, these two failures intersected.
In fact, the sharp upticks in anti-Asian violence that followed in the U.S., while connected to COVID-19 frustrations specifically and worries about China generally, also coincided with growing racial disharmony in the U.S. affecting everyone, especially blacks and Latinx.
This is to say, while the racism of Trump’s responses to COVID-19 targeted China due to his frustrations with China’s rise and America’s decline and the inverse relationship between Beijing’s increasing governance capacity and the opposite in Washington (as respective responses to the pandemic made clear), his racism on the outbreak’s possible origin was completely consistent with his racist policymaking across the board, and the multitude of other lies he told to advance his racist agenda.
– The Daily Mail-Beijing Review News exchange item