COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP/WJW) — A group representing Asian American neighbors of Ohio’s Republican lieutenant governor says he and his family have agreed to meet with them to discuss their concerns about his recent tweet that referred to the coronavirus as the “Wuhan virus.”
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted’s office didn’t immediately confirm the meeting with residents of Upper Arlington, which the group said is set for Friday.
His neighbors plan to express how Husted’s words impacted them during a time where there is an uptick of attacks against the Asian American community.
Here’s a portion of the letter, released to FOX 8 sister station NBC4.
Dear Mr. Husted:
We, the undersigned, are writing to you today as parents of Asian children in Upper Arlington schools and members of Upper Arlington’s growing Asian and Asian American community. We are reaching out to you regarding your recent tweets concerning the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the use of the invective “Wuhan Virus.”
While much has been reported on the stunning increase in violence towards Asians and Asian Americans nationally in the last year, we wish to highlight concerns that exist directly within our own community of Upper Arlington, specifically targeted towards children. Our children have been targeted for bullying and abuse in the district well before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but that abuse has increased significantly in the last 14 months and has reached levels that have brought news media attention to our doorsteps.
Our children are the classmates, friends, and neighbors of your children.
Husted has defended his tweet, saying it was meant to be a criticism of the Chinese government.
“It had nothing to do with race, or ethnicity, or violence, or any other thing. It had to do with science, it had to do with the Chinese government, it had to do with a virus,” Husted said to NBC4.