'Chinese Virus' slur from Trump led to rise in anti-Asian content on Twitter

President Donald Trump is no longer allowed on Twitter, but scientists are still making sense of the damage he caused before the company finally made him abide by its guidelines for use.

"A new study suggests that former President Donald Trump's inflammatory rhetoric around the coronavirus, which is believed to have originated in China, helped spark anti-Asian Twitter content and 'likely perpetuated racist attitudes.' The Asian American community has experienced a striking rise in incidents of hate since the onset of COVID-19, according to officials and advocates, and critics say the former president's repeated use of 'China Virus' and other terms helped fuel an environment of hatred," ABC News reported Thursday.

"The results, published in the American Journal of Public Health, come in the wake of a string of attacks on Asian communities in the U.S., including a series of shootings in Georgia that left six women of Asian descent dead. The study indicated a difference in anti-Asian sentiment when using neutral hashtags such as #COVID-19 versus racist hashtags like #Chinesevirus -- 20% of the hashtags associated with #COVID-19 demonstrated anti-Asian sentiment, compared to 50% of hashtags with #Chinesevirus.

"Researchers also found that the timing of the former president's tweet was significant. The first time he used 'ChineseVirus' was March 16, 2020, and the following week saw an increase in anti-Asian hashtags and a rise in hate crimes. International health officials purposely avoided attaching geography to the virus, as had been done in the past, to avoid casting blame, but Trump insisted on tying China to COVID-19 at every turn," ABC reported.