March 30, 2020

The Canadian Race Relations Foundation calls upon Canadians to reject stigmatization and to stand together

The CRRF remains concerned that the Novel Coronavirus, known properly as Covid-19, continues to be referred to by the injurious name, “Wuhan Virus.” Such references do nothing to build a common front against the spread of the disease and thus are unhelpful at best and frankly racist at their worst. We recommend the process developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) Best Practices for the Naming of New Human Infectious Diseases.

Officials from Public Health Canada have repeatedly spoken out against the use of such language for its imprecision and hurtful impact. The CRRF endorses the position of the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and its Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam in this regard (Our previous statements may be found here and here ).

We call upon all Canadians to do their part by following PHAC guidelines and especially by engaging in proper physical distancing to slow the spread of the virus and gain precious time for our front-line health care workers. We also call upon Canadians to reject the temptation to stigmatize any of the communities that have made their home in Canada. In this present time especially, there is no “us” and “them”. It is all of us working to keep each other safe.

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