For Immediate Release: March 20, 2020
Contact: Ellen Lu, Program Coordinator, contacts@vayla-no.org

New Orleans, LA – Earlier this week, the current White House Administration double-downed on Sinophobic rhetoric regarding COVID-19. The name “COVID-19” was chosen specifically to maintain public discussion without stigma during a global public health crisis. By referring to the virus as anything other than its designated name (“Chinese virus,” “kung flu,” et al.), the nation’s leaders are eliciting further violence against the Asian American community when we must all practice social responsibility.

“This is a time of crisis and tension for all of our communities, but for Asian American communities and the Vietnamese community in New Orleans, it is an especially triggering time. We come from a diaspora that has survived despite war, colonization, environmental catastrophes, and limited access. Our focus should be on saving lives and building solidarity as we continue to share resources. Words have power. And phrases like ‘Chinese virus’ or ‘Kung-Flu’ to refer to COVID-19 affect our community and their safety while perpetuating anti-Asian sentiments. We call on the President, elected officials and all our leaders to set an example for all Americans.” said Jacqueline Thanh, Executive Director of VAYLA New Orleans.

VAYLA joins the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans and more than 260 other organizations in urging congressional leaders to publicly denounce the increase in racist attacks and discrimination against the Asian American community, in the wake of COVID-19. VAYLA encourages the President and elected officials to do the same.

Stand up against discrimination so we can ensure our most vulnerable young people, elders, patients, medical care providers, store clerks, and all community members are able to access the help they need. Together we must denounce discrimination. #VirusesDontDiscriminate

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