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Website documents anti-Asian discrimination amid coronavirus crisis

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A website set up last week by Asian American groups to document accounts of anti-Asian discrimination has recorded about 150 incidents, as advocates warn of a spike in verbal and physical violence amid the coronavirus pandemic.  

The website, which translates to six languages, allows people to provide firsthand accounts of discrimination, and about 150 cases were reported since its creation last Thursday, The New York Times reported.

The Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council (A3PCON) and Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA) launched the reporting center as they say Asian Americans have faced increased discrimination as many blame China for the coronavirus outbreak.

A San Francisco State University professor, who helped establish the website, found a 50 percent increase in the number of news articles mentioning coronavirus and anti-Asian discrimination between Feb. 9 and March 7.

Asian-American studies Professor Russell Jeung said the numbers reflect “just the tip of the iceberg” because only the most severe cases are reported in the media, according to the Times.

Jeung told The Hill that the website was created partly to better track these incidents and get better data to find “productive solutions.”

“We wanted to give people a way to voice their experience,” he added. 

Advocates have argued that President Trump calling the coronavirus, the “Chinese virus” has instigated anti-Asian discrimination. 

A news analysis by a Washington think tank found that social media mentions of anti-Chinese rhetoric increased after the president and GOP lawmakers used the phrases “foreign,” “Chinese virus” and “Wuhan virus” to describe the virus causing the pandemic. 

Trump has defended calling it the “Chinese virus” saying it’s “not racist at all” because the virus originated from the country. Other GOP leaders like Rep. Paul Gosar (Ariz.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) have referred to the virus as the “Wuhan virus” or the “Chinese coronavirus.”

The World Health Organization has warned against designating the virus as the “Wuhan virus” or the “Chinese virus.”

Tags Asian American Asian American discrimination Coronavirus COVID-19 Donald Trump Kevin McCarthy Paul Gosar
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