Biden Issues Very Important Coronavirus Order (About What We Call It)

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President Joe Biden came into office knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that he had one priority that was much more important than any other: Dealing with the coronavirus pandemic that has taken 400,000 American lives and wreaked havoc on the economy. That’s why, on Tuesday, he sat down to sign (another) executive order addressing the disease and its ramifications. Starting the moment he put pen to paper, the federal government will no longer…wait…what?

“Advancing inclusion and belonging for people of all races, national origins, and ethnicities is critical to guaranteeing the safety and security of the American people. During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, inflammatory and xenophobic rhetoric has put Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) persons, families, communities, and businesses at risk,” the order says.

Oh. Oh no.

“The Federal Government must recognize that it has played a role in furthering these xenophobic sentiments through the actions of political leaders, including references to the COVID-19 pandemic by the geographic location of its origin,” the order continues. “Such statements have stoked unfounded fears and perpetuated stigma about Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and have contributed to increasing rates of bullying, harassment, and hate crimes against AAPI persons. These actions defied the best practices and guidelines of public health officials and have caused significant harm to AAPI families and communities that must be addressed.”

Brief reminder, in case you’ve forgotten since the first paragraph of this article: More than 400,000 people have died thus far. More than 30,000 since Biden took office, actually.

“Executive departments and agencies (agencies) shall take all appropriate steps to ensure that official actions, documents, and statements, including those that pertain to the COVID-19 pandemic, do not exhibit or contribute to racism, xenophobia, and intolerance against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders,” the order declares.

So yeah. As all of his supporters are so quick to tell us, Biden is inheriting a mess. Now, they will present it as “Trump’s mess,” which is ridiculous, but nonetheless, they are right. It is a mess, and he’s going to have to work hard to get the country out of it. That means focusing, more than anything else, on vaccine distribution and policies that will help right the economic ship. The fact that he would spend even a single second worrying about whether someone calls it the “Wuhan flu” or the “Chinese coronavirus” is a very bad sign.