As the Coronavirus pandemic continues, the Anti-Defamation League is asking people to avoid getting sucked into the blame game.
In a column published by USA Today, ADL Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Greenblatt and former presidential candidate Andrew Yang co-author a piece warning of the dangers of racism in these difficult times.
"As the fast-spreading coronavirus pandemic threatens to tax our public health systems, takes a toll on the economy and upends nearly every aspect of our lives, there’s a serious risk that the compounding public anxiety around the virus could lead to the spread of another serious contagion: the scapegoating and blaming of Asian, Jewish and other minorities for this public health crisis,” the men write.
The ADL’s plea comes as federal investigators recently revealed white supremacists have discussed using coronavirus as a biological weapon. Law enforcement officials, monitoring the messaging app Telegram, discovered white supremacists discussing how to weaponize COVID-19 using “saliva,” a “spray bottle” or “laced items.” This intelligence brief came out of a division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on Feb. 17.
Compounding matters, President Trump, last week, referred to COVID-19 as “the Chinese virus.” Trump’s repeated comments have led to safety concerns for Asian Americans.
“This is the kind of situation that, as an Asian American former presidential contender, and a Jewish American civil society leader focused on fighting hate, both of us realize can spiral out of control quickly unless we all appeal directly to our leaders and the American people,” Yang and Greenblatt write. “Now is the time for Americans to summon the better angels of our natures: We need to stop the demonization of minorities, call out scapegoating for what it is and come together as one nation indivisible so we can beat this together.”