“We don't want anybody to be vulnerable to any kind of attack"
In a letter to Congress, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus urged them to “help us prevent hysteria, ignorant attacks, and racist assaults that have been fueled by misinformation pertaining to the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19)”
Rep Judy Chu told NBC that “the members of Congress are the trusted sources out there, so if they say something about what the truth actually is, I think it has meaning. Also, of course, the members of Congress have a huge role to play in calming the public.”
The letter highlighted incidents in which Asian Americans were attacked due to racism linked to the virus. In one incident, two Hmong guests were barred from staying at a Super 8 and then a Days Inn.
It was also highlighted that Asian businesses were suffering, with New York City rice noodle shop Yin Ji Chang Fen reporting a 40% drop in business.
“The best way to stop the spread of coronavirus is to wash your hands, not perpetuate racist stereotypes,” the letter adds. “We ask for your help in spreading this message, to help stem both the public health crisis and the deeply disturbing racism targeting the Asian American community.
Chu said that Asian Americans need to be vigilant during these times, saying it is “so important for people to be aware of their surroundings and to try not to be alone when they are traveling at least have a buddy out there.”
“We don’t want anybody to be vulnerable to any kind of attack,” she said.
Meanwhile, in Australia a #IWillEatWithYou campaign aimed at encouraging people to eat at Chinese restaurants in an effort to combat Coronavirus fears was recently started.
Across the pond, a British Indian woman was hospitalised by a man who told her British born Chinese female friend in Birmingham to take her “fucking Coronavirus back home”.