Bow and take it? Anal swabs given to U.S. diplomats in China

by WorldTribune Staff, February 26, 2021

China says it was a “mistake.” Others say it is a metaphor.

Whatever the case, the bad joke was on the United States of America. Diplomats from the Biden administration were given anal swabs by their Chinese hosts to test them for the coronavirus.

After the Biden administration complained that the practice was undignified, China said the anal tests were given in “error,” reported on Feb. 24.

“The State Department never agreed to this kind of testing and protested directly to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs when we learned that some staff were subject to it,” a State Department spokesperson told Vice World News.

It was not clear how many U.S. diplomats or their family members have gone through the tests.

In an online post earlier in February, China’s National Health Commission said, in some cases, the coronavirus can be more readily detected in anal samples than in throat and nasal samples. But it acknowledged rectal swabs are not suitable for mass use because they are inconvenient and unpopular.

According to the commission’s instructions, the anal samples are collected by inserting a cotton swab three to five centimeters (about one to two inches) into the rectum.

However the coronavirus tests are administered, it is a good bet that no Biden administration officials referred to the virus as the “China virus.”

Biden in January issued an executive order banning the use of terms such as “China virus” and “Wuhan virus” when referring to Covid-19. The order applies to federal agencies and public health documents and resources.

The Biden Team believes referring to the virus by its place of origin, as is the case in numerous other viruses, is somehow “xenophobic” and offensive to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

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