WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) helped pass H. Res. 908 to condemn all forms of anti-Asian sentiment related to COVID-19. The resolution recognizes and denounces the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes, which have been linked to the usage of racist terms like “Kung Flu” or “China Virus.” It also calls on federal and state authorities to document, investigate and prosecute hate crimes.
“The racist and bigoted remarks used against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in response to this pandemic must be condemned and called out for what they are,” Congresswoman Bustos said. “Remarks like this have led to an increase in hate crimes and only divide our nation during a time of crisis that demands unity and solidarity. Instead of casting blame and alienating our fellow Americans, we must come together to overcome the challenges of this public health crisis.”
More than two million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic as health care professionals, first responders and essential workers. The Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council has collected self-reports of hate crime incidents through their “Stop AAPI Hate” project. In its most recent study on August 27, the project received 2,583 reports between March 19 and August 5, with three percent of reports being from Illinoisans.
Since 2015, the World Health Organization has issued guidance not to name diseases after locations, which can stigmatize peoples. Multiple Administration offices have also acknowledged that the terms noted above were inappropriate and counterproductive because “stigma is the enemy of public health.”