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74 Jewish groups condemn racism against Chinese Americans amid coronavirus outbreak

(JTA) — Seventy-four Jewish groups have expressed solidarity with Chinese Americans amid the coronavirus outbreak, saying in a letter that they are “concerned about rising xenophobia aimed at Chinese people in this country and abroad.”

On Friday, the groups sent the letter with those sentiments in English and simplified Chinese to hundreds of Asian-American leaders and organizations, including America China Public Affairs Institute, OCA-Asian Pacific Advocates and United Chinese Americans.

Chinese business owners say they have seen a significant decrease in customers, which the message noted. It said “we will strongly encourage our own community not to give in to such fears.”

The Jewish Council for Public Affairs organized the letter, which was signed by rabbinical groups representing the major Jewish denominations — Reconstructionist, Reform, Conservative and Orthodox — the Anti-Defamation League and organizations representing Jewish communities across the country.

The rise of the coronavirus, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has led to a rise in racism against Asian Americans, including incidents of harassment and assaults.

The letter referred to recent remarks by Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Heath’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in which he warned against “outlandish extrapolations of fear” and said Americans should not avoid Chinese people or businesses owned by them here.