Illustration for article titled Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross Learns of Coronavirus Death Toll in China and His First Thought Is It’ll Bring Jobs Back to America!!
Photo: Win McNamee (Getty Images)

Whenever Trump’s Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross thinks about anything, it’s always through a prism of whiteness and opportunity. Learning that a deadly disease is on the verge of causing a pandemic, the first thing Ross thought was how many white people are in China, and then, “Do you have any idea how many companies will want to move jobs back to America?!”

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I’m not making this up. Ross literally said as much Thursday when he noted that the deadly coronavirus outbreak devastating China at the moment would help “accelerate” the return of jobs to the United States. I just threw in the stat about whiteness because that’s how the Trump administration functions. If you’re wondering how Ross could be so heartless, it’s because the Trump administration only cares about white people and if it doesn’t affect white people, then it doesn’t matter to them.

From the Hill:

Ross made the remarks after China’s National Health Commission announced that the death toll from the virus had climbed to 170. China has also confirmed more than 7,700 cases of the virus, which has spread to several countries around the world, including the U.S., where there have been five confirmed cases as of Wednesday.

Speaking in an appearance on Fox Business, Ross said that he did not want to take a “victory lap over a very unfortunate, very malignant disease,” but noted that he thinks the virus could help boost jobs.

“The fact is, it does give businesses yet another thing to consider when they go through their review of their supply chains,” Ross, who has served in the Trump administration since 2017, said.

“It’s another risk factor that people need to take into account. I think it will help to accelerate the return of jobs to North America, some to U.S., probably some to Mexico as well,” he added.

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You know what words don’t go well with learning that a deadly disease has claimed the lives of 170 people while there are some 7,700 confirmed cases of people suffering from the disease? “Victory lap.”

A Commerce Department spokesperson tried to clean up Ross’ insensitive comments, telling the Hill that Ross “made clear the first step is to bring the virus under control and help the victims of this disease.

“It is also important to consider the ramifications of doing business with a country that has a long history of covering up real risks to its own people and the rest of the world,” the spokesperson said.

The White House, which already has a space task force, announced on Wednesday that they will be forming a task force to monitor the coronavirus.

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Press secretary Stephanie Grisham, the press secretary who doesn’t like talking to the press, said that the team had been meeting every day and basically not doing shit because the virus is way over in China.

“The risk of infection for Americans remains low, and all agencies are working aggressively to monitor this continuously evolving situation and to keep the public informed,” Grisham told the Hill.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.

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