President Donald Trump attempted to focus blame for the spread of the novel coronavirus onto China this week by using a name for the virus that advocacy groups say has been associated with dozens of bias incidents against Asian Americans. The president in a tweet on Monday started calling COVID-19 the “China Virus,” repeating the term on Twitter and to reporters over the next two days. He said he started using the phrase to counter Chinese misinformation that the U.S. military initially spread the virus, a conspiracy theory not borne out by evidence. “China was putting out information, which was false, that our military gave this to them, that was false,” Trump said at a press conference on Tuesday. “And rather than having an argument, I said I have to call it where it came from. It did come from China. It is a very accurate term.” The World Health Organization, though, said in 2015 that geographic locations “should be avoided” when naming infectious diseases, in order to avoid “stigmatizing certain communities or economic sectors.” Disease names can “provoke a backlash against members of particular religious or ethnic communities,” a WHO official noted at the time, and the organization noted

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