Chang, Kuppa: Racialization of coronavirus is wrong, needs to stop

LANSING — Sen. Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit) and Rep. Padma Kuppa (D-Troy) have issued the following statement on the rise of racist sentiments related to the increased media attention of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), which originated in Wuhan, China:

“As proud Asian Americans, we strongly condemn the growing racist sentiment and discriminatory treatment that Asian American/Pacific Islanders are being subjected to in our country in the midst of the coronavirus situation. 

“There are certainly important precautions that must be taken to protect public health, and we applaud the efforts of our Governor and others to ensure that critical measures are put in place. However, precautions and public health efforts do not ever mean that attacks in public spaces, bias incidents, xenophobic rhetoric, and refusing people business due to East Asian appearance are appropriate. A public health concern should not become a xenophobia concern. The attacks on Asian Americans that have been happening around the country are wrong and need to stop.

“We must not succumb to conspiracy theories and misinformation. It is our shared responsibility to recognize the roles we play in dispelling bias and slander, and instead dedicate our energy to amplifying scientific facts and the truth.” 

Sen. Chang is the first Asian American woman elected to the Michigan Legislature and is a co-founder of the Michigan Asian Pacific American Legislative Caucus. Rep. Kuppa, the first Indian immigrant elected to the Michigan Legislature, currently serves as its co-chair. 

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