Student in LA Assaulted and Sent to Emergency Room Over Coronavirus Fears
A 16-year-old student in Los Angeles ended up in the emergency room after suffering from physical assault brought on by fears of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The male student, who is said to be of an “Asian background,” needed to undergo an MRI due to the event, although the extent of his injuries has not been disclosed.
Local officials slammed the attack as a result of “racial backlash” and anti-Asian stereotypes. A press conference was held in downtown LA with members of the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council.
“I heard of the recent incident of a young child being bullied, and actually was assaulted, because he was pointed out as being of Asian background,” said LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis, according to CBS Los Angeles. “Children, unfortunately, repeat things that are said by other people, including their own parents.”
LA County Human Relations Executive Director Robin Toma stressed the need for people to educate themselves on their own prejudices.
“That means really checking yourself, thinking before you act and make an assumption. Are you doing something because of a gross generalization or stereotype about another group? Especially true in this instance when people are fearful,” Toma told reporters.
LA county official Robin Toma says this month an Asian boy from the valley was reportedly bullied and beaten about coronavirus and needed an MRI.
The attack on the middle school student is only one of many others reported in California, where the majority of the 15 confirmed cases in the U.S. were detected.
In LA’s Carson area, a paper flyer with a fake World Health Organization seal urged the public to avoid Asian American businesses like Panda Express due to coronavirus, according to Reuters.
Meanwhile, more than 14,000 people signed a petition to close schools in the Alhambra area, which happens to have a large population of Chinese Americans, to avoid the supposed spread of the coronavirus.
So far, there is only one case of infection in LA, which has a population of 10.1 million people, according to official census data.
I had a patient in clinic ask me the other day if he should avoid going to Panda Express because of the coronavirus pic.twitter.com/e6NAh3jhay
my cousin (who is chinese) had two white boys turn around and say to her, “only chinese people have the coronavirus” at SDSU’s panda express today and i s2g if i see you irl i’ll throw hands on sight AND i will cough on you
on sat. i was talking bout how i wanted panda express & how it sounded so good to my friend & her step sister straight up said “ew im not going there again till after the corona virus is gone. chinese people are so disgusting” & i’ve never wanted to sock someone in the face more
“Our goal is to send out accurate information to all of our 80 districts, reaching over two million children, to tell them there is no need for excessive fear, that there is very minimal risk of contracting the coronavirus, and that we will not tolerate any type of bullying,” said LA County Superintendent of Schools, Debra Duardo.
It is understood that the student has started recovering from the attack. An investigation of the incident is also underway.