SAN MARCOS, Calif. (Border Report) — On April 5, Erin Chew went to Costco in San Marcos, Calif., for her monthly food run, but before she could get into the store, she was shocked by what she heard.
An unidentified man blurted out racist comments blaming Chew and the Chinese people for spreading COVID-19.
“I was stunned and confused,” said Chew who, grew up in Sydney, Australia but now lives in Escondido, Calif.
Chew said she gave the man a piece of her mind.
“I pretty much just looked at him and said. ‘Excuse me, if your leader was competent enough we wouldn’t be in this situation in this country.’ I pretty much called him a racist jerk, and said enough of this racist rhetoric,” Chew said.
Chew mentioned more than a thousand similar incidents have taken place involving other Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders across the country.
“It just shows that when you put a geographic name of a minority on something like a virus, it has a lot of racist implications,” Chew said.
Last month, President Donald Trump faced criticism for saying he didn’t think calling COVID-19 the “Chinese virus” — or the “kung flu,” as one administration official reportedly called it — puts Asian Americans at risk of retaliation despite growing reports they are facing virus-related discrimination.
About a month ago in Texas, a man reportedly stabbed three members of an Asian-American family — including two children ages 2 and 6 — said he did it because he thought they were “Chinese and infecting people with the coronavirus,” according to an FBI intelligence report obtained by ABC News.
And two weeks ago, a southern New Mexico county official is under fire for posting a social media video casting blame for the novel coronavirus pandemic on “Asians.”