March 31, 2020

One controversial aspect of Trump's response to COVID-19 is right

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald

Journalist: James Brown

President Trump's response to COVID-19 has been rambling, chaotic, and petty. Lagging rather than leading international efforts to fight the virus, the US is grappling with crippling deficiencies in its political and health systems. But there is one controversial aspect of Trump's crisis response that is on point.

In his often rambling and incoherent press conferences President Trump has meticulously labelled COVID-19 as the “Chinese virus". The phrasing is crude and clumsy. It’s most likely inflamed racists in America and elsewhere. But his instincts are right. A cannonade of Chinese Communist Party corona-propaganda is being coordinated across the globe. It’s vital that democratic nations stand up against it. That means, regrettably, while we fight this virus, we also need to sustain awareness of how China’s authoritarian system let the pandemic slip. Through this crisis, shielding democracies from the lure of techno-authoritarian state models like China’s will be a constant challenge. So too will be securing challenges to democracy at home.

Read the full article and more in The Sydney Morning Herald.


  • Richard Fontaine

    Chief Executive Officer

    Richard Fontaine is the Chief Executive Officer of CNAS. He served as President of CNAS from 2012–19 and as Senior Fellow from 2009–12. Prior to CNAS, he was foreign policy ad...