The World Health Organization (WHO) skipped ahead on the Greek alphabet when naming the latest coronavirus variant; notably, the ignored letters have the same spelling of a particular authoritarian world leader’s name.
As panic spreads over the “Omicron” variant, people on Twitter are speculating the WHO manipulated the naming order so Chinese communistic dictator Xi Jinping would not be offended. The variant names jumped from “Mu” directly to “Omicron” while skipping “Nu” and “Xi,” respectively.
The Chinese dictator’s name is pronounced “Chi” in contrast; the Greek letter is pronounced Ksi.
According to a statement from Dr. Margaret Harri, spokeswoman for WHO, the organization skipped the letter Nu so that people would not confuse the variant with the word “new” and skipped the letter Xi to avoid stigmatizing people who may have that surname.
It went from mu to mmicron – jumping both nu and Xi. Nu, the reasoning was people would get confused thinking it was the New variant rather than a name and Xi because it’s a common surname and we have agreed naming rules that avoid using place names, people’s names, animal, etc., to avoid stigma.
The WHO’s excuse to avoid common surnames is suspect as “Mu” is a common Chinese surname.
My China Roots noted:
Mu is a common last name found among Overseas Chinese communities around the world. In fact, ‘Mu’ is the transliteration of several different Chinese surnames. Its meaning varies depending on how it is spelled in Chinese, and which dialect it is pronounced in.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the WHO has been appeasing China, either failing to hold them accountable for setting the virus loose on the world or outright covering for China.