Lana Condor has a message for the president amid the coronavirus pandemic: “Be better.” The To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before star addressed Donald Trump directly on Twitter today (March 18) after he repeatedly referred to COVID-19 as the “Chinese Virus” on Twitter and during televised press conferences.
“To wake up to your chaos is truly a nightmare,” Condor tweeted. “Please be better. To my followers- be safe. I love you.” Attached was an even longer message for Trump pointing out the dangers of blaming China for the virus: By assigning COVID-19 a nationality, he’s only further encouraging xenophobic hate across the globe.
“You have no idea the ramifications your racist words & actions have on the Asian American community,” Condor wrote. “You simply cannot even fathom the danger you are putting our community in. How dare you. You should be ashamed of yourself.”
The actress continued her note by pointing out what a leader is versus what a leader isn’t. “You call yourself a leader?” she asked. “You know what leaders do? They LEAD by setting good examples and ACTION. Something we’ve yet to see you do. You need to take notes.”
Condor’s open letter to the president came after she retweeted YA author Ellen Oh, who called out Trump for his use of the racist phrase. “Look at him deliberately calling it the Chinese Virus,” Oh tweeted. “Very deliberate. Very racist. The virus actually has a name Covid19. Use the name. Don’t endanger the lives of all Asian Americans.”
Nearly simultaneously, Trump was asked at a press conference whether he thought he was putting Asian American people at risk by using such language. CNBC correspondent Weijia Jiang tweeted that a White House official even used the term “Kung-Flu” to refer to the virus. “No, not at all,” Trump said.
Many people are understandably outraged over the president and his administration’s irresponsible use of the term, and like Condor, they took to Twitter to condemn calling the virus anything other than its assigned name. And if you’re trying to understand why Trump is making it a point to call COVID-19 the “Chinese Virus,” perhaps Oh said it best: “In times of fear, people look for someone to blame. Like he is doing right now.”