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- UC Berkeley is facing backlash for a social media post that called anti-Chinese xenophobia a “normal reaction” to the Wuhan coronavirus.
- As of Friday morning local time, the novel coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, has killed 213 people and spread to nearly 10,000 people worldwide.
- The post was later deleted, and the university health center issued an apology.
- The post echoes the overwhelming sentiment being felt by Asian people around the globe, as instances of anti-Chinese racism become more rampant.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
UC Berkley is attracting backlash for calling anti-Chinese xenophobia a “normal reaction” to the Wuhan coronavirus.
The university’s health services posted an infographic conveying “common reactions” to the rapidly spreading Wuhan coronavirus in a notice put out to students.
As of Friday morning local time, the novel coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, has killed 213 people and spread to nearly 10,000 people worldwide.
Among the list of reactions, the infographic includes anxiety, worry, panic, social withdrawal, and hyper-vigilance to your health and body. However, the last item on the list particularly drew ire from both university students and alum alike.
“Xenophobia: fears about interacting with those who might be from Asia and guilty about these feelings,” the post read.
—Cal Bears Against ICE (@bearsagainstice) January 30, 2020
People called out the university for seeming to accept racism as a reaction to the disease.
“Confused and honestly very angry about this Instagram post from an official UC Berkeley Instagram account,” UC Berkeley alumna Adrienne Shih tweeted. “When is xenophobia ever a ‘normal reaction?'”
“I’m a proud UC Berkeley alum but this makes me so angry and ashamed,” she added.
The Berkeley was later deleted, and the university health center issued an apology.
“We apologize for our recent post on managing anxiety around Coronavirus,” the health center tweeted. “We regret any misunderstanding it may have caused and have updated the language in our materials.”
The post echoes the overwhelming sentiment felt by Asian people around the globe, as instances of anti-Chinese racism increase with the spread of the virus.
Asians from countries like the US and Canada have spoken out about incidents of racism. In Washington state, a sample-stand worker at a Costco turned a child away because he was wearing a mask while shopping with his mom.
In Toronto, Canada, a petition called for students who had traveled to China be banned from attending school, The Guardian reported.
“This has to stop. Stop eating wild animals and then infecting everyone around you,” one petition signatory wrote. “Stop the spread and quarantine yourselves or go back.”
Businesses in Hong Kong, South Korea, and Vietnam are also posting signs telling customers from mainland China that they cannot enter, The New York Times reported.
A video posted to social media shows that people are being discriminated in their own homes, as residents post signs outside of homes belonging to people from Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.
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