(March 18, 2020 at 3:58pm)

QUEENS, NY – Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee — the first borough president of Asian descent in the City of New York — stated the following in response to questions about the racist term “Chinese Virus” when referencing COVID-19:

“‘Chinese virus’ is a deeply consequential misnomer. COVID-19 gives no one license to target, harass or assault anyone, but the term ‘Chinese virus’ provokes exactly that. It emboldens the discrimination, harassment and targeting of many Americans. Calling it a ‘Chinese virus’ instead of the accurate term ‘COVID-19’ inflames racism, empowers sinophobia, and resurrects ‘yellow peril’ perceptions that endanger Americans, including American citizens like myself. This is a shared war against a pandemic, and as we all race together to stem the tide of COVID-19, triggering a war of words is the absolute last thing we need. This virus does not discriminate, and as fellow Americans, neither should we.”

Recent news reports of just some of the incidents in New York City in the past week:

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