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Prudential fires man who allegedly told Sophia Chang 'go back to Wuhan' at restaurant
Insurance company Prudential Financial announced on Twitter Tuesday that it had fired an employee who allegedly told YouTuber and entrepreneur Sophia Chang and her sister to "go back to Wuhan" at a restaurant in Newport Beach, Calif. last week.
"After thoroughly investigating the incident in Newport Beach, we have made the decision to end our relationship with the financial representative involved," Prudential said in a statement on Twitter.
The announcement came after one of Chang's Instagram videos, which went viral last week, featured footage from a Bluewater Grill restaurant shows a man who Chang said "made direct eye contact" with her and her sister and told them to "go back to Wuhan."
Wuhan, the capital of China's Hubei province, is where the coronavirus is believed to have originated.
Chang, who is Korean-American, said in the post that when she and her sister asked the man why he made that remark to them, he allegedly responded with "I don't speak Chinese, I don't know what you're talking about."
Two days later, Chang, who has approximately 850,000 subscribers on YouTube, identified the man in a separate Instagram post as a Prudential employee and called on the company to make a statement and fire him.
"We said NOTHING to this man and for him to verbally attack us because of our race is unacceptable," she wrote.
Chang then went on to blame President Trump the rhetoric he uses when discussing the coronavirus pandemic, arguing that the president has allowed some people to believe that they "can get away with racial harassment."
Trump has repeatedly blamed China for the spread of COVID-19, calling it the "Chinese virus" or "kung flu" on multiple occasions.
In Trump's address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Tuesday, the president slammed China, saying the country did not properly handle responses to the coronavirus, calling for world leaders to "hold China accountable for their actions."
"The Chinese government and the World Health Organization, which is virtually controlled by China, falsely declared that there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission," Trump said in a statement recorded from the White House.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. had a total of approximately 6.8 million cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday, with more than 200,000 deaths as a result of the virus.