- The WHO skipped two letters of the Greek alphabet to identify the new coronavirus variant Omicron.
- Some have speculated that the letter Xi was skipped to stay clear of confusion with the Chinese President’s surname.
- The WHO reportedly explained they produced the selection mainly because Xi is a frequent final name in China.
Correct-wing figures, including Sen. Ted Cruz and Donald Trump Jr., have criticized the Earth Wellness Firm for skipping the Greek letter Xi and naming the new coronavirus variant Omicron.
The WHO has been naming coronavirus variants after Greek letters of the alphabet, believing this would “be easier and far more useful to be talked about by non-scientific audiences.”
Applying that program, the subsequent variant really should have been termed Nu and, immediately after that, Xi.
—Jim Pickard (@PickardJE) November 26, 2021
Next an announcement on Friday that the new variant would be identified as Omicron, speculation arose that the two letters were being skipped to avoid confusion with the English word “new” and avoid antagonizing Chinese President Xi Jinping.
(The Greek letter and Chinese surname are penned the exact same but pronounced in a different way.)
“If the WHO is this fearful of the Chinese Communist Occasion, how can they be trusted to get in touch with them out the following time they’re striving to deal with up a catastrophic world pandemic?” Texas Senator Ted Cruz tweeted.
—Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) November 26, 2021
Cruz responded to a tweet that instructed the WHO made the decision to skip Xi to “steer clear of stigmatizing a region.”
Donald Trump Jr. also weighed in, tweeting: “As significantly as I am worried the initial will constantly be the Xi variant.”
—Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) November 27, 2021
The two echoed rhetoric popular in right-wing circles that blames China for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Previous President Trump and his allies have typically referred to the virus as the “China virus.”
Washington Examiner reporter Jerry Christmas explained that the well being physique determined not to use Xi because it truly is a frequent past name in China.
—Jerry Christmas 🎄🎅🏽 (@JerryDunleavy) November 26, 2021
The WHO chose not to use the title as its ideal procedures for naming disorders recommend “avoiding triggering offense to any cultural, social, national, regional, experienced, & ethnic teams,” he claimed.
He said they also confirmed that Nu was not used due to the fact of its similarity to the word “new.”