Covid-19 Response Promotes Sinophobia


Stephanie Perez, Owl Feed Lifestyle Editor

As the Covid-19 crisis continues to grow around the world, anxiety and panic are increasing exponentially due to misinformation. Because of this, the Asian-American community is being put at high-risk. 

Recently, in addressing the coronavirus outbreak in the US, President Donald Trump has taken to Twitter with the insistence that the Covid-19 Virus outbreak “is all China’s fault” and repeatedly continues to label the Covid-19 virus as the “Chinese Virus.” 

As of recently, another prejudicial term has erupted, from an unnamed White House official, “the Kung-Flu.” PBS News Reporter Yamiche Alcindor took to citing the phrase to President Trump, asking if he believes the terms are detrimental to the Asian-American community and if it would put the Asian-American community at risk of targeting. In response, President Trump openly stated, “Not at all, I think they (Asian Americans) probably would agree with it 100%. It (Covid-19) comes from China.”

Photo Credit: Twitter

Since Donald Trump’s appearance on live news, many have taken to responding to the ignorance. Dr. Sherry Wang, Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology at Santa Clara University, has taken to Twitter, responding, “The World Health Associated issued guidelines 5 years ago to avoid naming diseases by geography, animal or people to avoid inaccurate discrimination,” she continued. “No infectious disease has ever targeted people on the basis of race, but ignorance sure helps to justify racism, debunk science and perpetrate more false news.”

Seemingly, even in the midst of a global pandemic, racism, and sinophobia is becoming more prevalent as the usage of these derogatory terms are at worst deliberate and inconsiderate at best, as they deliberately disregard the safety of the Asian-American community.

The prevalence of the increasing violence against Asian-Americans, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter Bernice A. King, took to Twitter in response. On March 20th, King responded, “Please, please stop the prejudice and senseless violence against Asian people. Randomly beating elderly, sometimes homeless Asian-Americans are cowardly, heartbreaking and it’s inexcusable,” the tweet reads.

King continues, “Kung-Flu and Chinese Virus…This rhetoric isn’t harmless, especially with hate crimes against our Asian global family members is already on the rise.”

King’s tweet comes at a contentious time when discrimination, violence, harassment, xenophobia and racism against Asians around the world surges in the panic and fear caused by the Covid-19 outbreak. 

Asian Media/News Company, Next Shark, a leading source for Global Asian news, continue to document and report on instances of hate crimes being committed against the Asian Community (related to Covid-19). Their stories of hate crimes in association with Covid-19 have dated back to February and just AS OF TODAY, BY HOURLY, 13 stories were reported of these hate crimes. The targeting focuses on everyone including women and men of all ages, children, and even pets and shops. 

It’s saddening to see the racism that is growing against the Asian community amidst this global pandemic. Let’s help everyone remember we’re all fighting through this together.