In a clear rebuke of former President Trump, President Biden is preparing executive action directing federal agencies to examine whether or not any references such as “China virus” are in existing policies and directives, or on government websites.
CBS News reported the expected order is part of Biden’s effort to combat racism against Asian-Americans in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trump, however, said he used the term in reference to China’s Communist Party leadership, not the people. He frequently cited the evidence that Beijing’s early cover-up of the coronavirus in Wuhan, China, allowed the outbreak to turn into a global epidemic.
CBS News reported people familiar with Biden’s plan say it will be carried out either by executive orders or a presidential memo.
In March, a reporter asked Trump at a White House briefing why he was calling the coronavirus the “Chinese virus.”
“Because it comes from China,” Trump replied. “That’s why.
“I want to be accurate.”
Trump said the term is “not racist at all.”
The White House’s Twitter account later pointed out that a number of past pandemics had been known by the place of origin.
“Spanish Flu. West Nile Virus. Zika. Ebola. All named for places. Before the media’s fake outrage, even CNN called it “Chinese Coronavirus,’ the White House tweeted.
“Those trying to divide us must stop rooting for America to fail and give Americans real info they need to get through the crisis.”
Earlier Tuesday, Biden unveiled a plan to “embed racial equity” in all government agencies and “redress systemic racism where it exists” across the nation.
He said in his remarks at the White House that his initiative is a response to the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis last May. He said Floyd’s death “opened the eyes of millions” and “marked a turning point in this country’s attitude toward racial justice.”
“What many Americans didn’t see or had simply refused to see couldn’t be ignored any longer,” Biden said.
Rice said the objective is to “redress inequities in our economy and expand opportunities for people who have been left behind, including people of color.”
One goal of the administration’s policies, she said, is to cut child poverty in half and reduce poverty overall by 30%.
“Advancing equity is a critical part of healing and of restoring unity in our nation,” Rice said.
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