The Pandemic Blame Game

Horrific anti-Asian violence in the US during this pandemic is part of a long line of outbreaks fueling fear of the “other.”

  • 14th-century: Europe’s Jewish communities were wrongfully accused of deliberately spreading the Black Death.

  • 1900: Chinese people were unfairly blamed for a plague outbreak in San Francisco's Chinatown.

  • 1980s: Haitians were wrongly blamed for bringing HIV/AIDS to the US.

The pandemic has dispensed with the ‘West is best’ attitude to global health, yet the focus on China as the culprit stoked long-simmering anti-Asian sentiments. It also undermined public health efforts.

Example: Ignoring telltale COVID-19 symptoms in travelers that didn’t come from China.

NPR Goats and Soda

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