Andrew Yang Says Asian Americans Are ‘Stepping Up’ to Fight Coronavirus Amid Racist Attacks

Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang said Asian Americans are “stepping up” to combat the spread of COVID-19 amid a reported rise in racist attacks against the community.

The entrepreneur said many Asian Americans were showing that they could be “part of the solution” to the novel coronavirus pandemic, writing in a Washington Post op-ed published on Wednesday.

He also told readers that the community was “not the virus” and could be “part of the cure” while urging Asian Americans to “show our American-ness in ways we never have before.”

Yang made his remarks after several news outlets reported increases in racist attacks against Asian Americans by people ignorantly blaming them for the coronavirus outbreak.

Andrew Yang in New York City
Andrew Yang attends Consensus 2019 at the Hilton Midtown on May 15, 2019 in New York City.
Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

FBI analysis obtained by ABC News last week also showed that the agency expected hate crimes against Asian Americans to “surge across the United States” and endanger the community.

A new website tracking incidents of coronavirus-related discrimination against Asian Americans, Stop AAPI Hate, also said it received 673 reports of such discrimination in just one week.

Writing for the Post, Yang recalled feeling “self-conscious” of being an Asian American when he shopped for groceries last week, adding that it had been “years since I felt that way.”

But he wrote that the situation had “changed” and argued that people were “looking for someone to blame” as the novel coronavirus impacts their health and livelihoods.

Addressing the question of how racism against Asian Americans could be combatted, he wrote: “I’m an entrepreneur. In general, negative responses don’t work. I obviously think that being racist is not a good thing. But saying ‘Don’t be racist toward Asians’ won’t work.”