Trump doesn't know what the '19' in 'COVID-19' means


Months into the worst pandemic in a generation, Trump still doesn't know that the '19' in 'COVID-19' stands for the year the outbreak began.

Donald Trump on Tuesday said he has no idea what the "19" in "COVID-19" stands for, instead choosing to once again use a racist term for the deadly disease coronavirus causes.

The comment came during a speech in Arizona to members of Turning Point USA — a group of young, Trump-supporting, right-wing activists — in which he rattled off a list of names people had used to refer to coronavirus, including racist terms like "Wuhan" virus and "kung-flu."

"Kung flu. 'COVID.' 'COVID-19.' 'COVID.' I said, 'What's the '19?' 'COVID-19.' Some people can’t explain what the 19 — give me the — 'COVID-19.' I said, 'That’s an odd name.' I could give you many, many names," Trump said.

The name "COVID-19" has already been explained by health experts on numerous occasions.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the "CO" in COVID stands for corona, the "VI" stands for virus, and the "D" stands for disease. The "19" stands for "2019," the year in which this particular strain of virus was first identified.

It's unclear why Trump still doesn't know what COVID-19 stands for, five months after the World Health Organization first declared a worldwide public health emergency over the deadly respiratory disease coronavirus was causing.

Trump has frequently used racist names for the virus in an effort to shift blame away from his slow response to the pandemic onto China. Naming the virus after the location in which it was first discovered runs counter to WHO guidelines.

Efforts to blame China for the virus and racist monikers for it have led to a surge in violence and other racist attacks against people of Asian descent in the United States.

To date, more than 2.3 million people have been infected with coronavirus in the United States, with the death toll now at 121,178, according to the New York Times.

That amounts to roughly a quarter of the 477,237 reported coronavirus deaths globally, according to the Times' data.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.