New York City officials repeatedly encouraged citizens to dismiss concerns about the coronavirus. Instead, officials (and the mainstream media) echoed the World Health Organization’s concerns about “stigma”, claiming with zero evidence that Americans were shunning Asian American citizens. Additionally, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s directive forcing nursing homes to accept coronavirus patients resulted in devastation for thousands of vulnerable patients.
RAIR Foundation USA has devised a timeline that presents a birds eye view of the events surrounding the coronavirus in New York, featuring some bonus material from Nancy Pelosi and “squad” members Ayanna Pressley and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez among others.
January 21, 2020: NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci states on Newsmax TV: “But this is not a major threat for the people of the United States and this is not something that the citizens of the United States right now should be worried about.”
January 23, 2020: The State Department warns about travel to China.
January 29, 2020: President Trump launches the Coronavirus Task Force.
January 30, 2020: The World Health Organization accepted advice from a committee that argued against travel restrictions, stating that they do “not recommend any travel or trade restriction based on the current information available.”
January 30, 2020: CNN Contributor Jeff Yang wrote an opinion piece claiming that Chinese people were facing discrimination due to the coronavirus.
January 31, 2020: Trump suspends travel from China, requires quarantines for U.S. travelers coming from areas of China associated with the outbreak.
February 1, 2020: Citing the Coronavirus, Joe Biden tweets about President Trump’s supposed “hysteria, xenophobia, and fear-mongering”.
February 2, 2020: Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres chided citizens to “avoid stigma and discrimination” related to the coronavirus.
February 2, 2020: New York City Commissioner Dave A. Chokshi, MD tells people to take the subway for Lunar New Year. He also declared in part: “…this is about a virus, not a group of people. There is NO excuse for anyone to discriminate or stigmatize people of Asian heritage. We are here today to urge all New Yorkers to continue to live their lives as usual.”
February 2, 2020: New York City Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot said: “There is no reason not to take the subway, not to take the bus, not to go out to your favorite restaurant, and certainly not to miss the parade next Sunday.”
February 2, 2020: CNN Contributor Jeff Yang claims that while there are no “specifics” and supposed racist hate toward Asian Americans due to the coronavirus is “anecdotal,” “People are using tropes, stereotypes that have existed since really generations, hundreds of years, to vilify Chinese people and Asians more broadly.” [Please see RAIR’s article on leftist claims of anti-Chinese racism here].
February 3, 2020: China’s foreign ministry said Trump “inappropriately overreacted” by suspending travel from China and stated: “There is no reason for measures that unnecessarily interfere with international travel.”
February 4, 2020: WHO Director-General and Marxist revolutionary Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus declared that travel restrictions “have the effect of increasing fear and stigma” and called for “collective participation in global surveillance.”
February 7, 2020: New York City Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot during an interview at Spectrum News NY1: “We’re telling New Yorkers, go about your lives, take the subway, go out, enjoy life.”
February 7, 2020: Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez served as “Grand Marshal” of the Lunar New Year Parade. She was quoted as proclaiming that New York will “successfully confront coronavirus.” “I’m here to say that Chinatown is open for business and we are behind you and we will remain strong,” she said.
February 9, 2020: NYC Councilmember, Chair of Health Cmmte. Mark D. Levine tweets: “In powerful show of defiance of #coronavirus scare, huge crowds gathering in NYC’s Chinatown for ceremony ahead of annual #LunarNewYear parade. Chants of ‘be strong Wuhan!’ If you are staying away, you are missing out!”
February 14, 2020: Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer records a video of herself eating in Chinatown. “It is very unfortunate that people are concerned about the coronavirus because it is not anything that is taking place in the state of New York,” she said.
February 15, 2020: WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated: “The greatest enemy we face is not the virus itself; it’s the stigma that turns us against each other. We must stop stigma and hate!”
February 15, 2020: Chinese Ambassador to India Sun Weidong stated: “What we know is that this virus originated from nature, not man-made. The virus is terrible but the rumour is more terrible. Hope truth outweighs rumours and science prevails over ignorance and stigma.”
February 24, 2020: Nancy Pelosi encourages people to go to San Francisco’s Chinatown.
March 2, 2020: During a press briefing from his Manhattan office, Governor Andrew Cuomo downplayed the coronavirus: “…[T]his is not our first rodeo with this type of situation in New York,” Cuomo told the assembled press. “[In] 1968 we had the Hong Kong flu.”
March 2, 2020: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio recommends that people should “go on with your lives + get out on the town despite Coronavirus”…
March 9, 2020: “Squad” member Rep. Ayanna Pressley regurgitates the fake argument that anti-Chinese sentiment is on the rise due to the coronavirus. “You know, since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, we’ve seen not only the spreading of the virus but also a rapid spreading of racism and xenophobia. We have witnessed it at the highest levels and, in fact, the Republican Party fanning, irresponsibly, these flames,” she said. (also here)
March 10, 2020: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez claims people are not going to Chinese restaurants because they are racist. “Honestly, it sounds almost so silly to say, but there’s a lot of restaurants that are feeling the pain of racism. People are literally not patroning [sic]Chinese restaurants. They’re not patroning [sic] Asian restaurants because of just straight-up racism around the coronavirus.”
March 10, 2020: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on MSNBC: “If you’re under 50 & you’re healthy, which is most NYers, there’s very little threat here. This disease, even if you were to get it, basically acts like a common cold or flu. And transmission is not that easy.” H/T Tom Elliott!
March 25, 2020: Governor Andrew Cuomo releases a directive to nursing homes (NH) requiring them to house coronavirus patients. “[A]ll NHs must comply with the expedited receipt of residents returning from hospitals to NHs,” the directive read in part. Not only was the directive directly putting the most vulnerable at risk (leading to disaster), there was a culture of “secrecy” surrounding the order, leaving families in the dark.
March 27, 2020: The politicized Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) made a statement that there are “likely” to be “hate crime incidents” against Asian Americans according to ABC News: “The FBI assesses hate crime incidents against Asian Americans likely will surge across the United States, due to the spread of coronavirus disease.” [emphasis added] The report that led to this claim continues to be unavailable.
April 9, 2020: CNN Contributor Jeff Yang claims that a woman coughed on him at a Trader Joe’s grocery store because she blames him for the coronavirus.
April 26, 2020: Governor Cuomo “doubles down” on his nursing home directive during a press conference, stating that “any institution that didn’t have quarantine space or sufficient equipment to protect other patients or staff could request to have coronavirus victims transferred elsewhere.”
Read RAIR’s discussion on Nursing Home deaths here.
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