John L. Ucker, who is an adjunct instructor in the university’s engineering and applied sciences department, has been placed on paid leave for calling COVID-19 the “Chinese virus.”
“For students testing positive for the chinese virus, I will give no grade,” an email to students read, according to a report from the Cincinnati Enquirer. “You can read the info I sent to the class re: the torsion test.”
After the message went viral, the university condemned Ucker’s comments.
“There is no place for bigotry in our community or any other,” UC President Neville Pinto wrote on Twitter. “Every Bearcat deserves to feel welcome, respected and supported. Greatness starts with inclusion. And inclusion starts with each of us.”
The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).
The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.
While a majority of the cases have been detected in the United States and China — with more than 6.92 million confirmed cases and 201,000 deaths in the United States — it has now reached many countries around the world. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.