Masood Akhtar: Coronavirus pandemic has brought out love and hatred

Masood Akhtar: Coronavirus pandemic has brought out love and hatred

Dear Editor: While America was not ready to deal with this coronavirus pandemic on day one, the majority of Americans were. I saw the love pouring from millions of individuals regardless of their religion, color, or ethnicity or even political affiliation, organizations, and corporations to help each other out during these unprecedented times and overcome extraordinary challenges – an example of real America for which I gave up my Indian citizenship over 25 years ago.

But I also saw the dark side of Americans starting with our own president. Mr. Trump lashed out at Democrats who have questioned his handling of coronavirus threat, calling it their new hoax. Later Mr. Trump's campaign tried to remove this video in which he appears to call the coronavirus a "hoax," saying it's misleading but it was too late to protect the president because everybody knew about it by then.

Then Mr. Trump not only called the coronavirus a “Chinese virus” but also defended it initially resulting is a sharp rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans. Then the FBI also warned us about this potential surge in hate crimes against Asian Americans.

Here comes the darkest and the ugliest side of America as reported by the FBI again, “Members of racial extreme groups, including neo-Nazis and other white Supremacists, are encouraging to spread the coronavirus, if contracted, through bodily fluids and personal interactions,” in an effort to kill cops and Jewss. I personally call this act by these hate groups as “bioterrorism” yet these hate groups are not called as “domestic terrorists” and can’t be prosecuted the same way as we prosecute the foreign terrorists.

During these unprecedented and challenging times when our fellow Americans are losing their lives almost daily, if this hate rhetoric of Mr. Trump can’t be called out by his supporters now and if this inhuman behavior of hate groups can’t be called out now by our elected officials of both parties by adding these groups to the list of terrorist organizations, then I don’t know what would.

It's time for all of us to act now before its too late while maintaining social distancing. God bless you all and please stay safe.

Masood Akhtar


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