Asian American lawmaker reveals racist voicemails she received following Trump’s Covid slurs

‘Hey, you look like a Chinese virus, you fat slob,’ is heard in one recording

James Crump
Thursday 18 March 2021 14:23 GMT
Rep. Meng reveals racist voicemails she received in reaction to Trump’s covid slurs
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Democratic congresswoman Grace Meng has revealed racist voicemails she has received over the past year that have blamed her and Asian-Americans for the coronavirus pandemic.

During an appearance on CNN on Tuesday, Ms Meng, who is Asian-American, played clips of racist voicemails she has received that repeat language used by former President Donald Trump, highlighting the abuse Asian-Americans have been subject to over the past year.

“I’m calling about the Karate Kid virus, or the kung flu virus or the whatever – it came from Asia. It’s not racist. It’s the truth. Filthy people,” one man said in a voicemail shared by Ms Meng.

While a woman in a separate voicemail told the lawmaker: “Hey, you look like a Chinese virus, you fat slob,” and added: “You look like a Wuhan, you ugly fat slob!”

The New York congresswoman then explained that the voicemails were a fraction of the abuse that Asian-Americans have faced during the pandemic.

Since March 2020, nearly 3,800 incidents have been reported to Stop AAPI Hate, a California-based reporting centre for Asian American Pacific Islanders, with 68 per cent of the incidents recorded against Asian women.

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The United Nations also expects to have recorded a significant rise in hate crimes against Asian-Americans in the US over the past 12 months, with the anti-China rhetoric of Mr Trump and other Republicans being blamed by many experts.

Mr Trump, alongside other Republicans, repeatedly referred to Covid-19 as “kung flu” or “Wuhan flu” during the pandemic, with the phrases and the former president criticised for blaming the virus on a single country and group of people.

Speaking about the abuse she and other Asian-Americans have faced during the pandemic, Ms Meng said: “Look, I have pretty thick skin.”

However, she added: “My heart goes out to so many families who are afraid to let their elderly parents and grandparents go outside to the supermarket for fear of being harassed.

“For the parents, some of who have been texting me saying they’re not going to let their kids play outside anymore because they don’t want them to get bullied.”

The increase in violence against Asian-Americans in the US came into focus on Tuesday, after a gunman went on a shooting rampage in Atlanta that left eight people dead, six of them women of Asian descent.

The tragic incident sparked an outpouring of grief from Asian-Americans across the US, as the hashtag #StopAsianHate was a top trending topic on Twitter hours after the shootings.

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