Staff members work at a novel coronavirus detection lab in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, Feb. 22, 2020. (Xinhua/Cheng Min)
"While we are working hard to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, we should also guard against the spread of political virus and racist virus against the Chinese government and people," Chinese Consul General in Los Angeles Zhang Ping said.
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- Los Angeles County officials on Monday expressed solidarity with China in fighting against the novel coronavirus.
Los Angeles County is working hard to provide the most accurate information to the public in order to ease any unnecessary panic or fear, Kathryn Barger, chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, said at a roundtable about the epidemic in downtown Los Angeles.
Barger expressed concern about the push back in the community. Some Chinese people living in the community who have not been to China recently was targeted out of fear.
The fear is "unfounded" and "unacceptable," she said.
Patients who recovered from the novel coronavirus disease pose for photos with medical staff in the Taikang Tongji Hospital in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, Feb. 19, 2020. (Xinhua/Shen Bohan)
Barbara Ferrer, director of Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, said the immediate risk of the coronavirus posed to the general public here is extremely low. She advised people to enjoy their usual activities as before, including eating and shopping at restaurants and stores operated by their Chinese neighbors and friends.
"Discrimination that is targeting our Asian American and Chinese American friends and businesses is extraordinarily harmful to our entire community," she said.
"Racism is dangerous. We all need to come together and fight against it," Ferrer said.
She appreciated the tremendous work done by Chinese scientists, including genetic mapping, adding it was absolutely essential to identify the virus.
Chinese researchers are working really hard on developing vaccine and medication to treat the patients and prevent the virus from spreading, she noted.
Chin Ho Liao, council member of the City of San Gabriel, said the city will hold a public sports event called "Walk For Health" on Saturday to support the fight against the novel coronavirus. More than 2,000 people are expected to join the walk, he said, adding he expects to keep the positive energy going through the event.
A visitor writes down words in support of China's fight against the novel coronavirus at the annual Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show in Los Angeles, the United States, Feb. 15, 2020. (Photo by Qian Weizhong/Xinhua)
Chinese Consul General in Los Angeles Zhang Ping said that with its arduous efforts, China has achieved some positive results -- new confirmed and suspected cases are on a decline trend nationwide, he said.
"We are grateful for the empathy and support expressed in many ways by people from different walks of life here in the United States," he said.
Zhang also expressed concern that some people may use the issue to attack the Chinese government or stir up xenophobia and racial hatred against the Chinese community.
"While we are working hard to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, we should also guard against the spread of political virus and racist virus against the Chinese government and people," he said.
In face of global public health challenge, the international community should support each other and take concerted efforts, Zhang said. ■