Not to be outdone by New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, fellow leader of "The Squad," Democratic Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (Mass.) blasted Americans who avoid Chinese restaurants and neighborhoods to avoid contracting the coronavirus as perpetrators of "racism and xenophobia."
"Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, we've seen not only the spreading of the virus but also a rapid spreading of racism and xenophobia," Pressley said during a House hearing Thursday.
Says GOP leader's 'painful rhetoric' is hurting Asian businesses
Pressley said the bigotry aimed at Asian-Americans is being directed from "the highest levels" of the Republican Party while taking a direct jab at House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy over a recent tweet.
"Everything you need to know about the Chinese coronavirus can be found on one, regularly updated website," McCarthy tweeted Monday. Pressley said the Republican lawmaker incited anti-Asian discrimination.
"My district is home to nearly 32 percent foreign born residents with more than a quarter immigrating from Asia," she said in her remarks. "This painful rhetoric has consequences. Restaurants across Boston's Chinatown have seen up to an 80 percent drop in business and I believe this has everything to do with the rapid spread of misinformation and paranoia."
"It is critical that we stand against these inciteful messages and assuage fears in our communities and we do that by dispelling untruths and misinformation," Pressley added.
Just like AOC
By accusing Republicans of promoting "racism" that is leading Americans to cut back on Asian food, Pressley is echoing similar comments made by Ocasio-Cortez.
As TheBlaze reported, on Tuesday the freshman congresswoman from New York said that Americans were being "racist" by not eating at Chinese restaurants.
During a live monologue on Instagram, Ocasio-Cortez said:
Honestly, it sounds almost so silly to say, but there's a lot of restaurants that are feeling the pain of racism. Where people are literally not patroning Chinese restaurants, um, they're not patroning Asian restaurants because of just straight-up racism around the coronavirus.
CNN reported on March 2 that concerns over the coronavirus was hurting the Chinese business sector in New York City as fear of the illness was causing people to avoid the city's famous Chinatown neighborhood and its businesses. Local business leaders told the network that tourists and city residents have been steering clear of the area since news first broke of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China, late last year.