Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Karen O hits out at coronavirus racism: “Let’s unify”

"As a member of the Asian American community I stand behind Asians around the world."

Yeah Yeah Yeahs singer Karen O has hit out at the racist abuse that Asian people across the globe have suffered in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The outbreak, which is thought to have originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has sparked a rise in racially motivated attacks on Asian people across the globe.

In one incident last month, a Singaporean student was attacked on London’s Oxford Street by a gang of teenagers who told him: “We don’t want your coronavirus in our country.”


US President Donald Trump has also come under fire for frequently referring to the disease as the “Chinese virus.”

Posting on Instagram, Karen O urged fans to “unify” in a bid to tackle discrimination as the pandemic continues across the globe.

The singer, whose mother is Korean, wrote on Instagram: “As a member of the Asian American community I stand behind Asians around the world who are experiencing racism in the wake of the Coronavirus, and hatred and violence are only encouraged when people in positions of power refer to it as the ‘Chinese Virus’.

“Let’s call it what it is, a global pandemic, and let’s unify in support of our phenomenal Asian community when others in leadership are unwilling to do so. Be kind, wash your hands, and stay strong.”


Her comments come after the UK became the latest country to announce strict coronavirus lockdown measures for the country.

In a TV address from inside 10 Downing Street, Johnson said UK citizens must stay at home except to shop for food and medicine, for only one form of exercise per day, and to travel to and from essential workplaces.

It followed Johnson’s call for pubs, restaurants and bars to close over the weekend

Keep up to date with all the latest news around the coronavirus pandemic here.

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