Andrew Yang: Calling coronavirus 'China virus' only used to incite 'hostility'April 2, 2020
CNN commenter Andrew Yang on Thursday pushed back on those who would continue to refer to the coronavirus as the "China virus," saying such efforts were aimed at stoking "hostility."
During a Facebook livestream with CNN host Lisa Ling, the tech entrepreneur and former Democratic presidential candidate discussed instances of Asian Americans targeted because of the virus that originated in Wuhan, China.
"I've gotten the same messages you have, Lisa, about friends and Asian Americans who are being either spat on or attacked or assaulted around the country,” he said.
"I've heard of schoolchildren getting called the Chinese virus and being bullied mercilessly,” the entrepreneur added.
He called it a “heartbreaking phenomenon” for Asian Americans, noting they are also experiencing the same anxiety about the pandemic.
"But then it's compounded by the fact that you know there's this massive increase in hostility and animosity towards Chinese Americans, Asian Americans, because so many Americans associate this virus with China,” Yang said.
The former presidential candidate acknowledged that the Chinese government deserves some blame for its lack of transparency on the virus but said it’s important to separate the Chinese government from the Chinese people.
"The seeds of this crisis certainly can be laid at the feet of the Chinese government, but then there's the Chinese people, who suffered some of the same things that we're suffering," he said, adding that Asian Americans were "a world away while some of these decisions were being made by Chinese government officials."
President Trump defended the Asian American community last week saying the coronavirus was not its fault. The week before, the president stood by his use of the term “Chinese virus” when questioned by reporters.
The World Health Organization has in recent weeks urged people not to refer to the coronavirus as the “Wuhan virus” or the “Chinese virus,” noting that the virus has spread worldwide and saying the phrases could cause stigmas.