DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Campus and Community > Respect for all

From the President: Respect for all during and after the COVID-19 crisis

Stained glass
(DePaul University/Jamie Moncrief)

In recent news, language has been repeatedly used to describe COVID-19 that is factually incorrect and has led to racism against the Asian community. DePaul University denounces anti-Asian and anti-Asian American bigotry. We stand together as a Catholic, Vincentian community that values human dignity.

Language that describes COVID-19 as a "Chinese Virus," "Wuhan Virus," or "Kung Flu" is unacceptable.  Terms like these, which have been used by some of our nation’s leaders and members of the media, are xenophobic and can only feed into spreading fear, hatred and violence. As a result, we have seen an escalation of attacks these past two months against Asian communities and individuals across the US, particularly against Chinese and East Asians.

As we are all aware, the State of Illinois is in the midst of a COVID-19 shutdown and individuals have been urged to “take shelter” in their homes to prevent further spread of the virus. DePaul has closed buildings and moved classes to remote learning for the safety of our community. In this time of social distancing, we should not ostracize individuals based on stereotypes, racist rhetoric and fear. We also stand with organizations, such as the Japanese American Citizens League, which stated on March 21 "Asian People Are Not a Disease" and others who advocate on behalf of those who are vulnerable during this crisis.

COVID-19 is a global pandemic that affects all of us equally. It should be called by its scientific name, COVID-19 or coronavirus – not a colloquialism that is harming the Asian people. At DePaul, we will call this deadly disease by its name, and we implore the DePaul community to do the same.  We also ask that we stand together in denouncing acts of racism, as it has no place on our campus or in our society.

DePaul values our diverse community. Here, we care. Here, we take care of one another. We will do so during and after this pandemic.