Because the novel coronavirus originated in China, there has been significant concern about increased racism towards Americans of Chinese descent. In a study we early released, Cheah et al (10.1542/peds.2020-021816) analyzed survey data on more than 425 Chinese American parents and 230 of their children. Sadly, almost half of parents and older children reported being targeted by COVID-19 racial discrimination via online or in-person taunts. This Sinophobia was associated with increased feelings of anxiety and depression. What can we do to address this discrimination?
To answer that question, we asked Dr. Tina Cheng, Chair of Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins, and her daughter, Alison Mei Conca-Cheng, a third-year medical student to share their thoughts on this study (10.1542/peds.2020-024836). Both authors report experiencing Sinophobia inside and outside of the healthcare setting. They dissect how this level of racism directed against Chinese Americans has arisen not just during the pandemic but beforehand, how it leads to a sense of fear and panic that results in implicit biases, and blatant racism directed against Chinese Americans. They also challenge us with a call to action to learn as much as we can to increase our understanding about racism to address these issues. If you missed reading this study and commentary when we released it free to the public on (give date), then please link to it now and learn more.