Governments around the world are panicking yet again as another variant of COVID-19 was discovered. Being the new flavor of the season, numerous governments, including the U.S., have instituted strict travel bans to South Africa, believing this will help stop the spread of the new Omicron variant. On top of governments acting hastily, financial markets have even been affected by the news. But while the public braces for another series of useless mandates, it appears the World Health Organization (WHO) was more concerned about what Greek letters were going to be used when announcing the new COVID strain on Friday. 

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Already having used numerous letters in the Greek alphabet to label COVID-19, the next two letters would have been “Nu” and “Xi,” but WHO decided to skip over both of those, which led many to ask – why. 

While nothing has been confirmed, politicians and users online have thrown out a few suggestions as to why the organization would want to skip those two letters. “Nu” is an obvious one given that some people could believe this strain was “new.” Although Nu might be an easy one, it is being suggested that Xi was passed on because of the Chinese leader Xi Jinping. 

With many investigations showing that COVID-19 originated in the Wuhan Lab in China, it makes perfect sense why WHO wouldn’t want to add any more fuel to prove that the Chinese government was behind the pandemic-causing COVID-19. 

Although some might not have caught on, Senator Ted Cruz certainly did. He tweeted, “If the WHO is this scared of the Chinese Communist Party, how can they be trusted to call them out next time they’re trying to cover up a catastrophic global pandemic?”

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Adding to Cruz’s comments, another user added, “No, sorry, we’re not calling the new COVID strain ‘nu variant,’ are we? I refuse to have my Christmas canceled by something that shares an epithet with a playlist featuring Limp Bizkit.”

According to a United Nations public health agency spokeswoman Dr. Margaret Harris, “[For] 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 [to] naming rules that avoid using place names, people’s names, animal, etc. to avoid stigma.”

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