Former U.S. President Donald Trump's "Chinese virus" tweet linked to a spike in anti-Asian sentiment.
According to a new study released by the American Public Health Association, a tweet by former President Trump in March 2020 referring to Covid-19 as "Chinese virus" led to a barrage of anti-Asian tweets.
Using qualitative investigation, the researchers studied tweets that used #chinesevirus and #covid19 in the days leading up to and following Trump's tweet with the phrase "Chinese Virus." The study found that 20 percent of the hashtags with #covid19 displayed anti-Asian sentiment compared with fifty percent of the hashtags with #chinesevirus. There was a noteworthy increase in anti-Asian tweets associated with #chinesevirus compared with #covid19. Furthermore, the researchers found that police-reported hate crimes against Asian Americans surged by 149 percent between 2019 and 2020.
During the pandemic, community members and journalists recorded a rise in hate crimes towards Asian Americans. On March 16, a mass shooting at the Atlanta-area spa killed eight people, six of whom were Asian women.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19 including symptoms, prevention and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organisation or your national healthcare authority.