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Misinformation about COVID-19 fuels rise of hate crimes against Asian Americans

Posted at 10:03 PM, Mar 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-16 07:24:07-04

BALTIMORE — Misinformation about COVID-19 is fueling anti-Asian hate crimes across the country.

From verbal abuse to violent attacks, racial violence targeting Americans of Asian descent has increased dramatically.

A new study done by California State University found hate crimes went up 150 percent last year.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, there's been nearly 3,000 hate incidents, according to Stop AAPI Hate, an organization created to track such incidents.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, there’s been a lot of fear," said Elizabeth Chung. who is the executive director of the Asian American Center of Frederick.

Chung said the incidents are linked to misinformation about COVID-19 and people blaming Asian Americans for COVID-19.

"It is very difficult," she said. "We are very scared about these kind of rumors [and] inaccurate information.

On Sunday, Governor Larry Hogan described the attacks as "outrageous" and "unacceptable" in an appearance on CNN.

Governor Hogan's wife, Yumi, is from South Korea.

He said his family, including his daughter, has felt the discrimination too.

"It's something I've been focused on. We feel it personally with my daughter, who's sometimes afraid to come visit us," he said.

The Governor also expressed his appreciation for President Joe Biden who also condemned the violence.

Chung is applauding both leaders for their support. She said calling out hate will be important to create change moving forward.

"Everyone has a responsibility to call out discrimination," she said.