As the new coronavirus continues to spread throughout the U.S., Chinese Americans — and Asian Americans as a whole — have reported rising verbal and physical attacks suggesting they're responsible for COVID-19's emergence. It's "a sudden spasm of hate that is reminiscent of the kind faced by Muslim-Americans after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001," but this time, the president isn't acting like he's on their side, The New York Times reports.
Yuanyuan Zhu recalled walking to the gym in San Francisco for one of her last workouts before an inevitable quarantine a few weeks ago. Along the way, she noticed a man "yelling an expletive about China," and hearing him shout "run them over" when a bus went by, the Times writes. Zhu tried to stay away, but when she got stuck with the man waiting for a crosswalk, he spit on her.
The possibility of those kinds of attacks have the nearly two dozen Asian Americans interviewed by The New York Times "afraid to go grocery shopping, to travel alone on subways or buses, to let their children go outside." Even Dr. Edward Chew, the head of the emergency department at a large Manhattan hospital, says he has noticed people covering their noses and mouths when he walks by.
Still, President Trump insists on calling COVID-19 the "Chinese virus" despite medical professionals warning how that could fuel fear of and attacks against an entire group of people. "If they keep using these terms, the kids are going to pick it up," Tony Du, an epidemiologist in Maryland, told the Times. "They are going to call my 8-year-old son a Chinese virus. It's serious." Read more at The New York Times.