August 4, 2020
Contact: Sookyung Oh, firstname.lastname@example.org
Asian Americans Demand that Nick Freitas Take Politics out of COVID-19
(Annandale, VA) The NAKASEC Action Fund releases this statement in response to a tweet (pasted below) posted by State Delegate Mark Cole featuring face masks sold through Del. Nick Freitas’ campaign website in his bid for Virginia’s 7th Congressional District:
“We are highly disturbed that Delegate Nick Freitas has decided to bankroll his campaign using a narrative that identifies COVID-19 with China. Blaming China for the COVID-19 crisis in the United States has led to a sharp increase of racially motivated attacks and discrimination against people of Chinese descent and others perceived to be of Chinese descent. In Virginia, Chinese and other Asian Americans have been cursed and yelled at, barred from entering businesses, physically assaulted, and faced workplace discrimination, according to Stop AAPI Hate and news coverage. Outside of Virginia, people have spat on, thrown acid at, and even stabbed Asian Americans all because they believe Chinese American and other Asian Americans are spreading COVID-19. Nick Freitas’ campaign, and the implied support from Del. Mark Cole, exacerbates anti-Asian racism and endangers our lives.
We demand that Del. Freitas immediately remove the “Made in China” mask from his campaign store and end all campaign messaging that fuels anti-Asian racism.
Moreover, as someone who wants to become a U.S. Representative, Del. Freitas should spend more time on supporting policies that contain COVID-19 and keep Virginians financially afloat, secure in their homes, and able to seek medical attention as needed, and less time on distracting Virginians with divisive rhetoric. We call on Del. Freitas to support extending unemployment benefits (including to undocumented workers), expanding health care access, and imposing an eviction moratorium. Virginia needs leaders who understand that to come out of this public health pandemic as strong as ever, it will take all of us coming together across difference to find solutions.
Dr. Ningping Feng (Coordination Council of Chinese American Associations)
Petula Moy (Asian American Alliance)
Sookyung Oh (NAKASEC Action Fund)
SEIU Virginia 512
Delegate Sam Rasoul (11th District)
Delegate Kathy Tran (42nd District)