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Message from the Society of Asian Academic Surgeons Regarding Coronavirus-related Racis

Mar. 30, 2020 Media Contact: Alyson Maloney , 215-568-4000

Over the past several weeks, there has been an increase in anti-Asian harassment and hate-crimes, due to coronavirus-related racism. Below is a statement, published today, by the Executive Council of the Society of Asian Academic Surgeons (SAAS), addressing this alarming issue:

First, as the current pandemic continues to affect our communities and families, we want to express our profound gratitude to our surgical colleagues and to all healthcare professionals who are the frontlines of caring for patients with the SARS-CoV2 virus / COVID-19.

We have also been acutely aware of the societal ramifications of the SARS-CoV2 virus being labeled with a distinct geographic distinction (which will not be repeated here) in recent press conferences and comments on social media. As a result of the highly visible use of this terminology, there has been an increase in verbal and physical assaults against Asian-Americans, both in the community and in the workplace.

The SARS-CoV2 virus does not discriminate. It affects all, irrespective of gender, race, ethnicity, age, or sexual orientation. Bigotry of any kind is unacceptable. We support all Asian-Americans who are providing essential services in our communities at this time and hope that they – and we – can continue to do so without the spectre of hatred and violence due to xenophobia, racism, and bigotry.

We hope that you will join us in protesting use of this term to describe SARS-CoV2/COVID-19 and increasing awareness of the dangers of using this term.

Thank you again for all you are doing during this time. Please stay safe.

The ABS strongly condemns racism in any form. We stand with and support our peers of the Society of Asian Academic Surgeons, and we thank those of you who are on the front lines working to treat patients affected by COVID-19.