Why the ‘Chinese Virus’ Narrative is a Dangerous Distraction

By Debra Zimmerman Murphey

Originally published by PRNEWS

Information about the coronavirus pandemic has mostly been built around straight messaging: wash your hands, stay home, save lives.

Recently, the term Chinese virus entered the public lexicon. Marginalizing ethnicities during a public health crisis can trigger xenophobia. In addition, it does not engender needed public engagement.

Besides flying in the face of good PR, this language is neither compassionate nor utilitarian.

Social media creates an unfiltered and substantial channel of digital communications. Professional communicators know there are drawbacks, too, because many members of the public have difficulty sorting fact from fiction.

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