So, as you mentioned. Prejudice already exists in the current COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. What do you think can be done at this point to mitigate that and to escape this blame game and to focus on constructive efforts? Dr. Anton Titov, MD. In this case, it is not just a question of blame and bias. It is also a question of global geopolitics. The Trump administration has been involved literally in a trade war with China more or less since Trump came into office. The epidemic has now been put to the surface of the three-year conflict between the Trump administration and China. You’ll see this week as Trump’s anti-China rhetoric has mounted. There was a very interesting photograph in the New York Times today that a photographer had gotten of Trump’s markup of his press conference statement yesterday. Whoever had prepared his speech had written the corona virus and Trump using the famous black sharpie He had crossed out Corona and written Chinese. So he spoke about COVID-19. Dr. David S. Jones, MD. I don’t know what they think they are going to gain from doing so. But it is part of the explicit policy of Trump and Pompeo and others in this administration to blame China as much as possible for this in hopes of scoring points somewhere. Dr. David S. Jones, MD. I don’t know if they are trying to win over their voters or somehow get concessions from China. This I can’t quite imagine. But given that this is a deeply held political strategy of the Trump administration, I can’t imagine there is much you could do to stop it. One of the arguments they make is just a simple misunderstanding of history. Medical second opinion is important. You’ll see many of the official sayings, epidemics are always named for the place where they originated from. There is nothing unusual or wrong about calling this the Wuhan virus. Ebola is named for a city in a river in what’s now the Congo. The Marburg virus was named for a city in Germany. Lyme disease is named for a city in Connecticut, so many diseases historically have been named for the places they originated from. But whether Trump officials aren’t telling the public is that in 2015. The World Health Organization changed the rules. The World Health Organization had a series of explicit discussions in 2015, in. This they acknowledged that, yes, traditionally, they had named new pathogens for the place where they came from. But that wasn’t helpful. It wasn’t productive. What it did was generate an enormous amount of stigma and bias. Medical second opinion is important. The who made an explicit distinction that we are not going to do this anymore. They released a series of very specific guidelines that said in the event of a new pathogen, these are the kinds of names that you can use, these are the guidelines that everyone should follow. Dr. David S. Jones, MD. That is exactly what they did. With COVID-19 are they are known. The official name is that, SARS-CoV-2. It doesn’t roll off the tongue. But that was a highly bureaucratic name that was exactly in line with who guidelines. This changed in 2015. Medical second opinion is important. The fact that in the past we have named epidemics for their place of origin is true. But not relevant. Dr. David S. Jones, MD. That is not current policy. The Trump administration is just thumbing their nose at WHO effort to destigmatize new pathogens.
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