An instructor who referenced the global coronavirus pandemic as the “Chinese virus” in an email to a student is now under review at the University of Cincinnati, CNN reported.
The adjunt professor John Ucker allegedly emailed a quarantined student that those missing class after “testing positive for the chinese virus” would not receive a grade in his class, according to a tweet from the student, Evan Sotzing, 20.
“Not only did my professor give me a zero for not going (to the lab session), but this was his response.”
The student might have misinterpreted his instructor, because the tweeted claim – confirmed as legitimate by a university spokesman – mentioned “no grade” and not a “zero” as claimed.
But the university was no concerned about the handling of the grade-no grade controversy, instead focusing on calling the COVID-19 pandemic the “Chinese virus.”
John Weidner, UC’s dean of Engineering and Applied Science, told CNN he is investigating “what appeared to be a dismissive response of the student’s quarantine situation and the very insensitive xenophobic comments.”
“These types of xenophobic comments and stigmatizations around location or ethnicity are more than troubling,” Weidner emailed to CNN. “We know we can better protect and care for all when we speak about COVID-19 with both accuracy and empathy – something we should all strive for.”
President Donald Trump has been criticized by media antagonists for reference to the pandemic as caused by China and his referring to it as a “Chinese virus.”
Trump defenders noted criticism of calling it the “Chinese virus” is sharing China Communist Party propaganda in an election year.