On the latest episode of Full Frontal, Samantha Bee urged people not be racist when discussing the current COVID-19 pandemic. Taking aim primarily at the news media, Bee discussed how the virus has been signified as “Chinese” and why it’s essential that we rephrase how it’s talked about.
During the clip, which was filmed with only a few staff members in the audience, Bee updated viewers on the latest news regarding coronavirus, including the shutdown of Italy and how the U.S. government should recommend seniors don’t travel. After playing several incidents on Fox News where journalists and guests refer to coronavirus as the “Chinese virus” and where one anchor claims “they started it and have yet to apologize,” Bee says, “China, we know it’s not your bad.”
She adds, “Tying coronavirus to China and Chinese people isn’t just a racist dog whistle, it’s a whole racist orchestra… The coronavirus is not an excuse to be racist. Look, I know, I know racism is like America’s weighted blanket. When everything is stressful nothing makes us feel more secure than treating other people like trash.”
Bee goes on to cite several recent examples of racism fueled by the coronavirus, including incidents at Columbia University and at a Washington Costco. She encourages viewers to not avoid Chinese restaurants (“That is like not going to Ikea because you think all Swedish people want to burn you alive in a bear suit”) and to not use stereotypical images in the media.
“The Trump administration is not going to save us,” Bee concludes. “We have to take care of each other. It is not OK to mistreat people out of fear and panic, especially when we’re doing so many other stupid things out of fear and panic.”