Meghan McCain on Monday apologized for her prior defense of President Donald Trump and others who used racist, anti-Asian names for the novel coronavirus and COVID-19.
“I condemn the reprehensible violence and vitriol that has been targeted towards the Asian-American community,” the cohost of ABC’s “The View” tweeted. “There is no doubt Donald Trump’s racist rhetoric fueled many of these attacks and I apologize for any past comments that aided that agenda.”
Throughout last year, Trump insisted on using the phrases “China virus,” “Chinese virus,” and “kung flu,” which research has shown helped fuel anti-Asian sentiments. Reports of hate crimes and discrimination against Asians in the United State have increased dramatically in the past year.
The issue drew new attention last week after the shooting spree at three Atlanta-area massage parlors that killed eight people, including six Asian women.
Addressing this on the latest episode of his show, “Last Week Tonight,” John Oliver singled out McCain for defending Trump’s rhetoric directly linking the virus to people of Asian descent.
Oliver pointed out that McCain posted a tweet that said “Stop Asian Hate” after the Atlanta shootings before he played a clip from a March 2020 episode of “The View” where she defended Trump’s use of the racist term “China virus.”
“I think if the left wants to focus on P.C. labeling this virus, it is a great way to get Trump re-elected,” McCain said at the time. “I don’t have a problem with people calling it whatever they want. It’s a deadly virus that did originate in Wuhan.”
“Oh good, Meghan McCain doesn’t have a problem with it!” Oliver shot back. “Listen not to the scores of Asian Americans telling everyone that the term is dangerous and offensive. Instead, gather around and take the word of a wealthy white woman who’s dressed like she’s about to lay off 47 people over Zoom.”
“Meghan McCain applauded President Donald Trump for insisting on calling COVID-19 the “Chinese virus,” saying “P.C.” liberals will get him “re-elected” if they keep harping on it. His use of the racial term is “effective,” she said.”
-Justin Baragona, Daily Beast pic.twitter.com/nS6HPE0Veo
— Christian Wilkie (@CWWilkie) March 18, 2021
“Now, I will say, Meghan McCain posted this week, ‘Stop Asian Hate,’ with three broken hearts emoji, which is a fine sentiment to throw up on Twitter after the fact,” he continued. “But there has to be an understanding that saying, ‘I don’t have a problem with calling it the China virus’ is very much giving space for hate to grow.”