Monday, March 23, 2020


You should read this New York Times story for a sense of how the GOP's cynical China-bashing strategy is putting Asian-Americans at risk:
Yuanyuan Zhu was walking to her gym in San Francisco on March 9, thinking the workout could be her last for a while, when she noticed that a man was shouting at her. He was yelling an expletive about China. Then a bus passed, she recalled, and he screamed after it, “Run them over.”

She tried to keep her distance, but when the light changed, she was stuck waiting with him at the crosswalk. She could feel him staring at her. And then, suddenly, she felt it: his saliva hitting her face and her favorite sweater....

Attacks have ... gotten physical.

In the San Fernando Valley in California, a 16-year old Asian-American boy was attacked in school by bullies who accused him of having the coronavirus. He was sent to the emergency room to see whether he had suffered a concussion.

In New York City a woman wearing a mask was kicked and punched in a Manhattan subway station, and a man in Queens was followed to a bus stop, shouted at and then hit over the head in front of his 10-year-old son.
It's appalling, if not surprising.

But there are other infuriating details in the story that don't involve bigotry.

Among the interviewees are Tony Du, a Maryland epidemiologist, and Edward Chew, a doctor who works in Manhattan. We're told:
Dr. Chew has been using his free time to buy protective gear, like goggles and face shields, for his staff, in case his hospital runs out. On Wednesday night at a Home Depot, ... his cart [was] filled with face shields, masks and Tyvek suits....

Mr. Du is trying to remain hopeful. He spends his weekends training to become a volunteer with Maryland’s emergency medical workers. He is part of a group of Chinese-American scientists who organized a GoFundMe account to raise money for protective gear for hospital workers in the area. In three days, they raised more than $55,000, nearly all in small donations.
At that Home Depot, Dr. Chew was harassed by fellow shoppers, who followed him out to the parking lot. Mr. Du is fearful and is buying an AR-15.

But beyond that, look at what they're doing. The doctor is paying out of his own pocket to obtain critically needed supplies for his own hospital. It's bad enough that in the richest country in the world we make teachers buy their own classroom supplies. But front-line health care workers, too? In the worst virus hot spot in the country?

And Tony Du and his fellow scientists are obtaining protective gear via GoFundMe -- just the way many critically ill people pay for health care in normal times, in, I repeat, the richest country in the world.

What's wrong with us? Why are we like this?

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