NWHSU Faculty Leadership Condemns COVID-19 Related Bigotry Toward Asian-Americans

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S., hate crimes against Asian-Americans have been on the rise, clocking in at a rate of 100 reported per day, according to The Hill.

Unfortunately, Minnesota is not immune to hate crimes against its Asian-American citizens.

On April 9, 2020, the Northwestern Health Sciences University (NWHSU) Faculty Senate spoke out against these bigoted and xenophobic attacks in a formal statement, condemning the use of physical assault, verbal harassment, and intimidation directed at people who are Chinese or perceived to be Chinese in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is our moral obligation as educators and health care providers to stand publicly against such expressions of bias and hatred,” says Deborah Bushway, Ph.D., president and CEO of Northwestern Health Sciences University. “At a time when global populations are all under threat, we must reject the desire to find scapegoats, and instead unite in response to our fears and to a common threat. I couldn’t be prouder of the strong stance articulated by our Faculty Senate. As an institution, we fully support their message.”

The resolution stressed that any language connecting COVID-19 to a geographic location, for example naming it a “Chinese” virus or as the “Wuhan” virus, would be considered anti-science and inflammatory.

“Such rhetoric in and of itself constitutes a threat to public health and welfare,” says Mary M. Tuchscherer, D.C., Ph.D., professor and president of the NWHSU faculty senate. “As an institution educating the next generation of Traditional Chinese Medicine health care professionals, our university stands in solidarity with Chinese and Asian traditional medicine doctors who are our teachers, colleagues, and mentors. We stand with all our students and patients of Asian descent, and with all Americans of Asian descent.”

For more information on how to prevent bigotry and misinformation in relation to COVID-19, see these recommendations from the World Health Organization.

If you are the victim of a hate crime, or wish to report one, you can do so on this website.