L.A. County officials said a 16-year-old Asian student had to be sent to the emergency room this week after he was assaulted and bullied over coronavirus fears. KCBS-TV Los Angeles reported the student required an MRI due to the incident, and as a result, officials had to hold a news conference to discuss the rise of anti-Asian sentiment and fearmongering over the virus, known as COVID-19.
"When I heard of the recent incident of a young child being bullied, and actually was assaulted, because he was pointed out as being of Asian background," said L.A County Supervisor Hilda Solis. "Children, unfortunately, repeat things that are said by other people, including their own parents." Details regarding the attack were not released, but the Los Angeles police are investigating.
“We also need to make sure we’re educated ourselves on our own prejudices,” added L.A. County Human Relations Executive Director Robin Toma. “That means really checking yourself, thinking before you act and make an assumption. Are you doing something because of a gross generalization or stereotype about another group? Especially true in this instance when people are fearful.”
First detected in mainland China, the virus has since spread to other countries. Of the total 67,104 cases of COVID-19 in the world, 66,493 of them were reported in China. The death toll recently raised to 1,527, with 1,523 of those happening in China. So far, 15 cases have been confirmed in the States. As a result of increasing fears over the virus, L.A. County schools will teach students more "accurate information" in an effort to stop racially-motivated attacks.