Clark Condemns Racism in Response to COVID-19, Calls for Unity and Facts
Today, Congresswoman Katherine Clark condemned the repeated use of "China virus", "Wuhan virus" and other racist labeling of the COVID-19 by the White House and Republican members of Congress. Since the outbreak of the virus, there has been a surge in reports of discrimination and violent attacks against Asian Americans across the country and many of these attacks have been inspired and fueled by misinformation, including misconceptions that Asians are more likely to carry and spread the virus.
"Our Asian American and Pacific Islander community is facing threats and violence because of ignorant and hateful comments that are coming from the very top of our government," said Congresswoman Clark. "The American people are looking for leadership, honest information, and compassion. We will be able to combat this virus if we let facts guide our response and if we work together as a country and a community. Division will only hold us back."
Today, Secretary Pompeo pressed the G-7 leaders to refer to the novel coronavirus as the "Wuhan Virus" and repeatedly President Trump has referred to the virus as the "China virus". On Wednesday, 3/18, Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) said, "China is to blame because the culture where people eat bats and snakes and dogs and things like that, these viruses are transmitted from the animal to the people and that's why China has been the source of a lot of these viruses."
Health experts from the Center for Disease Control and the Department of Health and Human Services have warned against that using inaccurate labeling and stereotyping could cause further spread of the virus. During a briefing on COVID-19 at the headquarters of the World Health Organization on March 18 2020, Doctor Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO's health emergencies program, said, "It's really important that we be careful in the language we use lest it lead to profiling of individuals associated with the virus. This is just something we need all to avoid."
Congresswoman Clark has created a page on her website on facts related to the spread and prevention of coronavirus including materials in multiple language, which can be found here.