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Scientific Organizations Write to Congress Denouncing Anti-Asian Sentiment

More than four dozen scientific organizations have written to congressional leaders supporting resolutions to denounce anti-Asian discrimination as related to COVID-19.

“Our societies have been concerned by news reports that individuals of Asian ancestry are
increasingly subject to stigma, physical attack, or suspicion due to the potential origins of the
novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2,” said the letter. “Today, we stand united in a spirit of
diversity and inclusion and offer our support for people of Asian ancestry, rejecting efforts to
ascribe fault for the pandemic, and instead urge a focus on leveraging global human diversity to
solve today’s public health crisis.”

The letter is signed by, among others, the American Educational Research Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Institute of Biological Sciences, the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, and The American Institute of Physics.

Earlier this month,  Senators Kamala D. Harris (D-CA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI) announced their plan to introduce a resolution condemning discrimination against Asian-Americans and Asian immigrants caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

“There have been disturbing reports of increased profiling, intimidation, or hate towards Asian-Americans and Asian immigrants during the COVID-19 crisis – this is inexcusable,” said Harris. “Let’s be clear: COVID-19 does not target any group by race or ethnicity. We must condemn any instance of racism or discrimination, wherever it exists.”

Last month, U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) introduced in the House of Representatives a resolution to denounce all forms of anti-Asian sentiment triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. The resolution has 124 co-sponsors, states a press release.

“The increased use of anti-Asian rhetoric … threatens the safety of the Asian American community; such language demeans, disparages, and scapegoats Asian Americans,” said Meng. “Asian Americans, like millions of others across the nation, are worried about the coronavirus; however, so many Asian Americans are also living in fear following the dramatic increase of threats and attacks against those of Asian descent.”

The resolution says that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders account for 7% of the U.S. population, or 23,000,000 people. Of that number, more than 2,000,000 are working on the frontlines against COVID-19, in industries such as health care, law enforcement, transportation and supermarkets.



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