Former President Donald Trump is facing legal action from the Chinese Americans Civil Rights Coalition (CARC) in response to what the group alleges are derogatory comments regarding the origins of the coronavirus.
As Russell Jeung, chair of the Asian American studies department at San Francisco State University, said, over the past year "hate speech really led to hate violence."
According to an article by Axios, the lawsuit has been filed with the hope of bringing justice to those impacted by Trump's words.
CARC is asking for "$1.00 as an apology to every Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) living in the United States," for a grand total of $22.9 million.
In the lawsuit, CARC states: "Since March 16, 2020 and as recently as on March 16, 2021, Defendant has repeatedly used the terms such as 'Chinese virus', 'China virus', 'Wuhan virus', 'Kung Flu virus'... in his official capacity in tweets, interviews, campaign rallies and even press briefings at the White House, and continued doing so after he left office."
They go on to say that, "Holding the most powerful office in the country, Defendant reckless neglected his official duty to represent all Americans, and maintain justice, domestic tranquility, and general welfare for all communities, Whites, Blacks, Hispanic, Asian, Native Americans, and so on."
"If this case does not rise to the level of defamation by an individual holding the most powerful office with the most solemn responsibility for all Americans," the lawsuit states, "then nothing does."
CARC provides multiple examples of statements made by the former Republican president, in which he refers to COVID-19 in ways that made many associate it with the Asian-American community. The group then links these statements to the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes that has occurred since the pandemic began.
The plaintiff also lists historical examples of how viruses were named, in an attempt to show that the practice of associating a disease with its supposed place of origin is selective. The Hill reports that Jason Miller, a senior adviser to Trump, called the lawsuit "insane and idiotic," saying that it was "specious at best," and "will be dismissed if it ever sees a courtroom."
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