NBC News' Richard Engel: 'This is a Bat Virus, Not a China Virus'

By Michael W. Chapman | March 19, 2020 | 2:32pm EDT
NBC News' Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel.  (Getty Images)
NBC News' Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel. (Getty Images)

While the liberal media continue to scold President Trump for calling the coronavirus the "Chinese Virus," NBC News' Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel took the issue a little further by reporting that it is "a bat virus" and "not a China virus." 

Engel also claimed that people in China, where the virus originated, "certainly" are feeling scapegoated by the "Wuhan virus" or "China virus" label. 

On MSNBC on Wednesday, NBC's Engel said, "It's easy to scapegoat people and that is what has always happened when there have been pandemics or epidemics.... There was lots and lots of scapegoating against an ethnic group or a religious group whenever there were pandemics that affected the society and frightened a lot of people."

"And China certainly feels that's what's happening now with people calling it the 'Wuhan flu' or the 'Wuhan virus' or the 'China virus,'" he said. 

"This is a virus that came from the territory of China but came from bats," stressed Engel.

"This is a bat virus, not a China virus," he said. 

"It doesn't speak Chinese," he noted.  "It doesn't target Chinese people. It targets human beings who happen to touch their eyes, nose or mouth."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the coronavirus "was first detected in China," and the "epicenter of the outbreak" was "in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China." 

On Tuesday, March 17, a reporter asked President Trump why he used the phrase "Chinese virus," and claimed that "a lot of people say it's racist."

President Trump replied, “Because it comes from China. It’s not racist at all, no, not at all. It comes from China. That’s why. It comes from China. I want to be accurate."

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

In the fall of 2014 there were several cases of Ebola diagnosed in the United States. One of the patients, a Liberian national visiting the United States, died from the illness. According to the CDC, "Ebola virus was first discovered in 1976 near the Ebola River in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo. Since then, the virus has been infecting people from time to time, leading to outbreaks in several African countries."

Despite its origin in Africa and its designation as the Ebola virus, the liberal media did not criticize then-President Barack Obama or his administration for using that label: Ebola virus. 

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