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Their discussion followed an exchange in which President Trump was asked whether he would stop using that type of phrasing. Some, like Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., have suggested that it was inappropriate to tie the virus to a particular country -- including where it originated.
Trump has defended the phrasing, arguing that China was blaming the U.S. military for the virus.
Co-host Sunny Hostin said the phrasing made her uncomfortable.
"I don't think when the swine flu ... originated here in the United States, we didn't hear people saying this is the American swine flu," she said.
Co-host Meghan McCain said she had no problem with calling out China.
"I don't have a problem with people calling it whatever they want. It's a deadly virus that did originate in Wuhan. I don't have a problem with it," McCain said.
"And I think that China -- had they acted right away and we had more access to information, maybe it wouldn't have gotten to the place where it is."
Amid some crosstalk from co-host Whoopi Goldberg, McCain said: "We have the luxury right now to be arguing about verbiage versus people that are actually dying and on ventilators."
She added that while she didn't support racial targeting, she didn't think the U.S. should let China off the hook for its role in spreading the virus.
Goldberg and Hostin tried responding, prompting McCain to claim they were yelling at her. "I can't telling who's yelling at me first," she said.
"No no, no one's yelling right now. I'm just trying to make sure you can hear me," said Goldberg, who wasn't in studio that day. She and Hostin worried that Trump's phrasing would prompt discrimination against certain groups of people.
When guest host Dan Abrams weighed in, he suggested that liberals would turn away voters if they kept focusing on politically correct phrasing before the election.
"This is one of these issues that I think in particular, if many on the left get too focused on, Trump's going to win on this," Abrams said. "The bottom line is the vast majority of Americans are going to say, 'tell me what to do on coronavirus, I care about this virus. It matters' ... but if people start focusing on what is he calling [it], he's calling it the Chinese virus versus the coronavirus. Look, do I think he should be calling it the Chinese virus? No. But I think it's a losing argument for the left to make because I think the vast majority of Americans are going to say, 'Who cares?'"