Source: China State Council Information Office
The empty Oxford Street is seen in London, Britain, Dec. 21, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]On Dec. 14, the United Kingdom reported to the WHO that it had identified a new SARS-CoV-2 variant through viral genomic sequencing. Since then, other countries including Denmark, Australia, Italy, Germany and Japan have detected the same mutation of the more transmissible COVID-19 virus.
Roger Helmer, a British politician who previously used the coronavirus to stigmatize China, was unable to sit still as he saw others trying to “smear” the U.K.
On Dec. 28, Helmer, a member of the UK Independence Party and a former member of the European Parliament, tweeted: “Can we please stop referring to new-variant Covid as ‘originating in the UK’. It was FIRST IDENTIFIED in the UK, which is an entirely different thing.”
However, his words drew widespread criticism online after old tweets he posted calling the COVID-19 virus the “Chinese virus” were dug out.
On March 17, Helmer tweeted: “By using the word ‘racist’ when it’s patently unjustified drains it of meaning. ‘Chinese virus’ is no more racist than Spanish flu. Or Indian corn. Or French cheese. Or Chilean wine. It merely refers to the country of origin.”
On April 10, Helmer doubled down by replying to a retweet: “It originated in China. It’s the Chinese virus. QED”.
Many netizens have since accused him of applying double standards.
One user named Dexter replied to Helmer’s tweet on Dec. 28: “Very standard double standard.”
Meanwhile, Twitter user Sarge Siddiqui commented: “MR MP you called it China virus why can’t you call it UK virus too.”
Another comment left by CuparArab reads: “Is there a bigger hypocrite anywhere than Roger Helmer?”