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"We Can't Be Silent": Asian Americans in Hollywood Denounce "Chinese Virus" and Racist Incidents
"I want us all to understand there is no 'Chinese Virus.' A virus knows no nationality, and wherever and however it started, it does us no good to point fingers, ostracize, attack or demonize Asian people."
Shannon Lee, daughter of martial arts film star Bruce Lee, recently wrote this message on her late father's Instagram, offering a not-so-subtle criticism of President Donald Trump and senior members of his administration who have continually referred to the novel coronavirus — which has caused a global pandemic comprising almost half a million confirmed cases of the disease COVID-19 and over 20,000 deaths — as a "Chinese virus," despite the World Health Organization's warning against using geographic locations when naming illnesses.
The phrase is now linked to a wave of racist attacks against Asians and Asian Americans, from hate-filled messages on social media platforms to physical assaults in public.
The Young Turks host Cenk Uygur tweeted about his children being bullied by classmates. Weijia Jiang, CBS News' White House correspondent, revealed that a White House official had referred to the coronavirus as the "Kung Flu" "to my face." Actor Daniel Dae Kim, who recently tested positive for the novel coronavirus, wrote that it had been "too heartbreaking" to initially comment on the "blatant acts of racism against Asian people during this outbreak."