After creating a website that helps New Yorkers find COVID-19 vaccines, a software developer is using his new platform to take a stand against anti-Asian hate.
What is TurboVax: Last month, Huge Ma launched TurboVax, a website that “finds appointments from 53 city and state-run vaccine sites in the NYC area.” TurboVax makes it easier for New York City residents to locate available vaccines and also book vaccine appointments, according to ABC News.
- After struggling to find a vaccine for his mother, which Ma claims was a “pretty arduous process,” he decided to create TurboVax.
- Ma’s website compiles information from city and state websites. It also announces available appointments via Twitter.
- The New York Times praised Ma’s website for doing a better job at spotting appointments than the state’s official systems.
Raising awareness: The rise of cases against Asian Americans prompted Ma to suspend his website for two days to draw attention to the important contributions of the Asian community in the country.
- After receiving several negative comments about his decision, Ma told his critics he is “not your free labor.”
- He then went on to educate his followers on the current issues that the Asian American community is facing.
- He also asked his followers to donate to Welcome to Chinatown, a grassroots initiative that supports businesses in Manhattan’s Chinatown and combats anti-Asian hate.
- Ma, who grew up in Queens, has experienced anti-Asian bias firsthand, with people making comments about his “slanted eyes,” “yellow skin” and “‘Ching Chong’ name.”
- “If we as a country don’t listen to the concerns of Asian Americans, then we risk losing the contributions of Asian Americans as well,” Ma told ABC News.
- TurboVax has helped thousands of New Yorkers, and Ma recently revealed that around $105,000 has been raised for Chinatown so far.