Xenophobia and the racist stereotypes of “dirtiness”
"News of the coronavirus is amplifying a specific form of bigotry, called sinophobia — hostility against China, its people, people of Chinese descent, or Chinese culture.
“Historically, in both popular and scientific discourse, contagious disease has often been linked, in a blanket way, to population groups thought to be ‘outsiders,’” he said.
He points out that similar narratives were portrayed against Haitian immigrants in the early days of the HIV epidemic in America, as they were the only group singled out as “high risk” because of their nationality.
In trying to explain part of this dynamic, Chowkwanyun says, “In general, when there is a zeitgeist of racial backlash and xenophobia, it drips down into medical discourse. Given the tensions between the [US] and China now, it’s not surprising to see that happening with coronavirus.”
There are a variety of theories of where the virus came from and how humans were affected but there is no definitive link yet. There is some information, some correlation, but no causation.
So someone has seen a small part of China on a short trip and saw a few foreign cultural practices and now has jumped to the unsupported conclusion that those practices caused Coronavirus. Nice. OP doesn't discuss the hygiene of stadium bathrooms, OP doesn't discuss the food practices of Tenessee where there is a law defending the rights of Tenesseans to eat roadkill https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1999-03-14-9903140236-story.html. We don't discuss Detroit, we don't discuss the sanitation on U.S. reservations.
Nope, China is dirty and disgusting based off a very limited and very targeted trip and thus there is no surprise dirty and disgusting Chinese are responsible for disease.
Leading with fear, xenophobia, and lightly veiled racism.