Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) says the “rapid spreading of racism” since the Wuhan, China-originated coronavirus outbreak in the United States is particularly “painful” for immigrants.
During a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on Thursday, Pressley — a member of “The Squad” along with Representatives Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) — said calling the virus the “Chinese coronavirus” is hurtful to immigrants living in the U.S.
“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, we have seen not only the spreading of the virus, but also a rapid spreading of racism and xenophobia,” Pressley said. “We have witnessed at the highest levels, in fact, the Republican Party fanning irresponsibly these flames. One colleague tweeted that ‘Everything you need to know about the Chinese coronavirus.’”
“My district is home to nearly 32 percent foreign-born residents with more than a quarter immigrating from Asia,” Pressley continued. “This painful rhetoric has consequences. Restaurants across Boston’s Chinatown have seen up to an 80 percent drop in business, and I believe this has everything to do with the rapid spread of misinformation and paranoia. It is critical that we stand against these inciteful messages… in our communities.”
Pressley was making a reference to Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), who has called the virus the “Chinese coronavirus” while blasting the Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda on the global health crisis.
Pressley’s remarks echo those of the Chinese government’s media wing, which has claimed that “racism, profiling, hate, and alienation of the Chinese person” amid the coronavirus outbreak is worse than the actual virus.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.