COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Democrats in the Ohio Senate are condemning Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted’s tweet referring to the COVID-19 virus as the “Wuhan Virus.”
Former President Donald Trump was called divisive and racist for often referring to COVID as the “Wuhan Virus” or “China Virus,” and some Republicans have followed his lead.
Asian-Americans contend that such language puts them in danger. Scientists have not yet determined the origin of the virus, although many say it originated in bats.
The Senate Democrats released a statement Saturday, “in response to Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted’s hurtful tweet about the origins of Covid-19:”
Words matter. At a time of increased violence against the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, the words used by the lieutenant governor can reinforce racial tropes that have been recently used to incite violence against members of the AAPI community and risk putting them in danger. We support and validate the concerns of the members of the AAPI community who tell us they feel offended or threatened. We call on the lieutenant governor to listen to his Asian American neighbors and apologize.Ohio Senate Democrats
Last week, dozens of members and families of Upper Arlington’s Asian-American community wrote an open letter to Husted urging him to meet so they can “share our fear with you.”
Tuesday, Husted defended the language used in the March 26 tweet in an interview with NBC4’s Adrienne Robbins.
“It had nothing to do with race, or ethnicity, or violence, or any other thing. It had to do with science, it had to do with the Chinese government, it had to do with a virus,” Husted said.
Despite calls to take down the Tweet, it remained on his personal Twitter account as of Saturday.
NBC4 has reached out to the Lieutenant Governor to obtain reaction on the Senate Democrats’ statement.