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Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: NurPhoto/Getty Images

Fear and misinformation surrounding the coronavirus have prompted unwarranted discrimination against Chinese-Americans who have nothing to do with the epidemic.

What they're saying: "We’re already worried about [stigma] here in the U.S. and around the world, that somebody coming back from this community or that community may be treated differently ... and businesses in a certain neighborhood may be boycotted," Anne Schuchat, an official with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Tuesday.

What's happening: Chinese-Americans and other people of Asian decent admit to suppressing their coughs and runny noses in public to avoid unwanted stares or social isolation, the Los Angeles Times and NPR report.

  • On U.S. college campuses, some non-Asian students acknowledged avoiding Asian classmates for no other reason than the virus's surge in China.
  • The coronavirus has an unknown animal host, spurring comments on social media that revive racist tropes about food.

The bottom line: "It’s definitely been an important message to point out that this outbreak is mostly in China and that’s where the risk is," Nancy Messonnier, spokesperson on the coronavirus for the CDC, said Monday.

Flashback: The 2013–2016 Ebola outbreak also increased "stigma, discrimination and blame" toward communities perceived as African in non-African countries, the World Health Organization observed.

Go deeper: Coronavirus death toll tops 1,000

Go deeper

Trump grants flurry of last-minute pardons

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty

President Trump issued 73 pardons and commuted the sentences of 70 individuals early Wednesday, 11 hours from leaving office.

Why it matters: It's a last-minute gift to some of the president's loyalists and an evident use of executive power with only hours left of his presidency. Axios reported in December that Trump planned to grant pardons to "every person who ever talked to me."

Trump revokes ethics order barring former aides from lobbying

Photo: Spencer Platt via Getty

Shortly after pardoning members of Congress and lobbyists convicted on corruption charges, President Trump revoked an executive order barring former officials from lobbying for five years after leaving his administration.

Why it matters: The order, which was signed eight days after he took office, was an attempt to fulfill his campaign promise to "drain the swamp."

  • But with less than 12 hours left in office, Trump has now removed those limitations on his own aides.

Trump pardons former GOP fundraiser Elliott Broidy

President Trump has pardoned Elliott Broidy, a former top Republican fundraiser who pleaded guilty late last year to conspiring to violate foreign lobbying laws as part of a campaign to sway the administration on behalf of Chinese and Malaysian interests.

Why it matters: Broidy was a deputy finance chair for the Republican National Committee early in Trump’s presidency, and attempted to leverage his influence in the Trump administration on behalf of his clients. The president's decision to pardon Broidy represents one last favor for a prominent political ally.