Mar 23, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump says U.S. must "totally protect" Asian Americans from coronavirus blame

Trump
Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images.

President Trump wrote in a tweet Monday that the U.S. must "totally protect" Asian Americans from being blamed for the coronavirus outbreak amid allegations that his use of the term "Chinese virus" has led to discrimination.

"It is very important that we totally protect our Asian American community in the United States, and all around the world. They are amazing people, and the spreading of the Virus is NOT their fault in any way, shape, or form. They are working closely with us to get rid of it. WE WILL PREVAIL TOGETHER!"

Why it matters: The New York Times on Monday interviewed nearly two dozen Asian Americans who said that they were afraid to leave their homes and have been yelled at or spit on in public during the coronavirus pandemic.

  • The Times called it 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."
  • World Health Organization guidelines advise against the use of "Chinese" or "Wuhan" virus to describe COVID-19, but that hasn't stopped Trump or many of his Republican allies from using the term in an effort to assign blame to the Chinese government.
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