ROCHESTER, Minn. - China’s president spoke with President Donald Trump to urge the U.S. to respond reasonably to the coronavirus outbreak on Friday morning.
China hopes the country will assess the epidemic in a calm manner.
However, the coronavirus spread has led to reports of prejudice and racism primarily against those who are of Chinese descent.
Videos, like one of a woman in Hong Kong eating a bat, have been fuel for racist remarks and misinformation about the origins of the coronavirus.
It’s why the Rochester Diversity Council says we all need to be aware of the facts so we don’t contribute to misinformation.
Executive director Dee Sabol explained, “We just need to stay calm, stay centered, focus on facts and try not to respond in a way that blankets a population or a segment of our population.”
Rochester’s Asian population is about 7% with the majority of the population, 80%, being Caucasian.
She said, “The more synergy we have as a population the better outcomes are for everyone and that's safety, education in every sector.”
The council says locally the Chinese-American community has a reluctance to engage on the topic for fear of increasing visibility and the potential for bias and discrimination to take place.
In order to prevent progression from bias to discrimination to acts of hate the council says we need to rely on personal responsibility to no escalate situations.
“Being cognizant of our own beliefs, our own responses,” added Sabol. “Watching for things that happen in public and opportunities to bring people back into belonging rather than ignoring things that go on or escalating them is just our biggest tool.”
While speaking with President Trump on Friday China also expressed hope the two sides can maintain communication, strengthen coordination and work together to contain the epidemic.