Yuanyuan Zhu was walking to her gym in San Francisco on March 9, thinking the workout could be her last for a while, when she noticed that a man was shouting at her. He was yelling an expletive about China. Then a bus passed, she recalled, and he screamed after it, “Run them over.”
She tried to keep her distance, but when the light changed, she was stuck waiting with him at the crosswalk. She could feel him staring at her. And then, suddenly, she felt it: his saliva hitting her face and her favorite sweater.
In shock, Ms. Zhu, who is 26 and moved to the United States from China five years ago, hurried the rest of the way to the gym. She found a corner where no one could see her, and she cried quietly.
“That person didn’t look strange or angry or anything, you know?” she said of her tormentor. “He just looked like a normal person.”
As the coronavirus upends American life, Chinese-Americans face a double threat. Not only are they grappling like everyone else with how to avoid the virus itself, they are also contending with growing racism in the form of verbal and physical attacks. Other Asian-Americans — with families from Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines, Myanmar and other places — are facing threats, too, lumped together with Chinese-Americans by a bigotry that does not know the difference.
In interviews over the past week, nearly two dozen Asian-Americans across the country said they were afraid — to go grocery shopping, to travel alone on subways or buses, to let their children go outside. Many described being yelled at in public — a sudden spasm of hate that is reminiscent of the kind faced by American Muslims and other Arabs and South Asians after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
But unlike in 2001, when President George W. Bush urged tolerance of American Muslims, this time President Trump is using language that Asian-Americans say is inciting racist attacks.
Mr. Trump and his Republican allies are intent on calling the coronavirus “the Chinese virus,” rejecting the World Health Organization’s guidance against using geographic locations when naming illnesses, since past names have provoked a backlash.
Mr. Trump told reporters on Tuesday that he was calling the virus “Chinese” to combat a disinformation campaign by Beijing officials saying the American military was the source of the outbreak. He dismissed concerns that his language would lead to any harm.
On Monday evening, Mr. Trump tweeted, “It is very important that we totally protect our Asian American community in the United States.” He added they should not be blamed for the pandemic.
“If they keep using these terms, the kids are going to pick it up,” said Tony Du, an epidemiologist in Howard County, Md., who fears for his son, Larry. “They are going to call my 8-year-old son a Chinese virus. It’s serious.”
If it's not "Mexican rapists" or "The Blacks" or "Jewish globalists" it's now the "Chinese virus" among us who are the enemy we should hate in order to distract the people from Trump and the GOP literally looting the US Treasury.
After all, the White House position is that Americans are going to have to be sacrificed to the almighty Capitalist Mammon Machine.
Officials have said that the initial 15-day period for social distancing — limiting close contact between people by banning gatherings, closing schools and offices, encouraging remote work and urging people to maintain a six-foot distance from one another — is vital to slowing the spread of the virus, for which more than 30,000 people in the United States have tested positive. The 15-day period would end Monday.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, an infectious diseases expert and a member of the White House coronavirus task force, has said in interviews that he believed that it would take several more weeks until people can start going about their lives in a more normal fashion. Other infectious disease experts suggest even harsher measures than social distancing are required to truly beat back the outbreaks in the United States.
But at the White House, in recent days, there has been a growing sentiment that medical experts were allowed to set policy that has hurt the economy, and there has been a push to find ways to let people start returning to work. Some Republican lawmakers have also pleaded with the White House to find ways to restart the economy, as financial markets continue to slide and job losses for April could be in the millions.
Vice President Mike Pence indicated on Sunday at a White House briefing about the virus that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would issue new guidelines on Monday, allowing some people who have been exposed to the coronavirus to resume working outside their homes if they wear masks.
The move could set the stage for states with relatively low numbers of cases to begin to unfreeze their economies, while large states like California and New York — where there are more cases and where state officials have ordered nonessential businesses to close for the time being — could continue remaining in a holding pattern.
The assumption that there are states with "small numbers of cases" means the Trump regime is more than ready to feed their corpses to the economy, and they already have their scapegoat to blame, the evil Chinese among us who "brought in this plague".
It's racism that's literally going to kill people.