Group 5

Anti-Asian Racism and Disease Outbreak in America

Carli Carey and Lauren Tamblyn

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In this podcast, we will take you through a few of the racist actions that have occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic against Asian Americans. Since COVID-19 crossed American borders at the beginning of 2020, people have been blaming Asian Americans for bringing it to America. Asian Americans have become the target for an increased amount of racial discrimination. Regardless of their specific ethnicity or if they have even been to China recently, the entire racial-ethnic group has been stigmatized as the source of COVID-19 and as a disease in general. The United States government has validated this stigmatization and discrimination by openly blaming China for the virus. This is not the first time Americans have targeted Asian Americans for bringing disease to America and we will explore a historical parallel in which Asian immigrants experienced extreme discrimination during an outbreak of the bubonic plague in 1900. In this podcast, we will provide a first-hand example of the hate speech towards Asian Americans that is occurring right now in the United States.

Further Reading 

Huang, Peter H., COVID-19, Anti-Asian Racism, and Anti-Asian American Racism (July 30, 2020). 28 Asian American Law Journal, Forthcoming, U of Colorado Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 20-41, Available at SSRN: or


Edara, Inna Reddy. “Anti-Asian Racism in the Shadow of COVID-19 in the USA: Reported Incidents, Psychological Implications, and Coping Resources.” Journal of Psychological Research| Volume 2.03 (2020).


Markel, H. “Bubonic Plague Visits San Francisco’s Chinatown.” In When Germs Travel, 45-77. New York: Vintage, 2009.

Dwoskin, Elizabeth. “When Trump Gets Coronavirus, Chinese Americans Pay a Price.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 10 Oct. 2020,

Sorayamcdonald. “In 1918 and 2020, Race Colors America’s Response to Epidemics.” The Undefeated, The Undefeated, 1 Apr. 2020,