Donald Trump Jr.'s Statement On The Omicron COVID-19 Variant Is Turning Heads

Donald Trump Jr. spends a lot of time on social media — most of it trying to convince his followers that America was a much better place when his dad was president. His Twitter feed swings between enthusiastic praise for his father's projects (such as his recently published photo book) and outrage over issues such as rising gas prices and immigrants at the Mexican border. Basically, if anything is going wrong in this country, Donald Jr. is convinced that Joe Biden or someone in his cabinet is behind it.

One of his newest targets is the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus. The recently identified virus — which has already been confirmed in cases in Europe, Africa and Australia — has a number of mutations that suggest it may be resistant to the current vaccines (via Forbes). But rather than using this news for informational purposes — say, encouraging initial vaccinations or promoting mask mandates — the former first son opted to focus on the name of the variant itself. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) has been naming COVID variants after Greek letters because it's "easier and more practical to be discussed by non-scientific audiences," as their website states. But in naming the Omicron variant, the WHO skipped over the two letters that follow Mu, the last identified strain. The reasoning behind the move is to avoid confusion and offense, but Donald Jr. apparently isn't too concerned about offending others.

Donald Trump Jr. says 'Xi' would have been a perfect name for the variant

The New York Post spoke to a United Nations representative, who confirmed that the WHO intentionally omitted the names Nu and Xi to identify new COVID strains. The name "Nu" sounds too much like "new," and the letter "Xi" is also a common Chinese surname, which would violate the organization's rules against associating the virus with any identifiable people, animals, or places.

In a tweet posted November 26, Don Jr. said, "As far as I'm concerned the original will always be the Xi variant." The remark was an intentional jab at Chinese president Xi Jinping and the fact that the COVID-19 virus appears to have originated in China. President Trump restricted — but never outright banned — flights from China to the U.S. in early 2020, a move which he claimed saved "potentially millions of lives" (via Associated Press). 

Texas Senator Ted Cruz echoed Don Jr.'s sentiments on the topic, accusing the WHO of omitting Xi because they were "scared of the Chinese Communist Party." 

Twitter commenters weren't about to let the former first son get off easy with his remark. One pointed out, "FYI, one in approximately 9,145 people are name[d] Xi globally. It's a common surname. That's why it wasn't used. What's your ominous reason for Nu also having been skipped?" 

Another pointed a finger directly at the former president: "No matter where it came from, 90% of deaths were caused by delays in responding to the outbreak."