‘Why Is It A Racial Slur?’: Things Get Testy When Martha MacCallum Challenges Symone Sanders On ‘Chinese Coronavirus’

Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum challenged Symone Sanders after the senior Biden campaign adviser called the term “Chinese coronavirus” a “racial slur” on Wednesday’s “The Story with Martha MacCallum.”

Responding to a question from MacCallum about whether former Vice President Joe Biden and others should say “this is a moment to get behind our president” despite their disagreements and “give credit where credit is due,” Sanders criticized the Trump administration both on the number of tests delivered so far and on President Donald Trump’s usage of the term “Chinese virus.”

“Some of what he said today was good, but the reality is he also stood at the podium and called the coronavirus COVID-19 what I would suggest is a racial slur,” she said. “It’s something that I …”

“Why is it a racial slur?” MacCallum interrupted. “To call it a Chinese virus when it originated in China. Why is that a problem?”

“It’s something that’s offensive to many Americans,” Sanders said before seeming to want to jump to another topic.

But MacCallum wasn’t finished with this one, proceeding to explain the reasoning for the MERS virus name, “Do you know why the MERS virus is called that?” she asked. “Because it’s called the Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome, because that’s where it originated.” (RELATED: ‘Not Racist At All’: Trump Defends Calling Coronavirus The ‘Chinese Virus’)

MacCallum called the “rabbit hole” of racism charges “so counterproductive to what we are trying to do here.”

“I just talked to an amazing scholar on China moments ago who said absolutely China at the leadership level has tried to obfuscate and be everything but transparent from the very beginning, they lied and lied about this situation,” she said. “Why is it not okay to recognize where it originated?”

Sanders continued with her claim that the term was “offensive.”

“No one is suggesting that American Chinese people are responsible,” MacCallum said. “Every thinking human being who looks at this understands that the reference is to the origin of the virus and also the leadership in terms of how that virus was handled in the country of origin. So I’m going to leave it there. I mean, come on.”

*story by Daily Caller