New York – The coronavirus is spreading slowly throughout China and has popped up in some cases inside the United States, but overall, officials are saying it’s not exactly something worth losing our minds over.
But that message apparently hasn’t reached parts of New York City, where an attack on a woman in the subway is now being investigated as a possible coronavirus hate crime.
The New York Post reported Wednesday that witnesses saw a woman being struck by an assailant who called her a “diseased b–tch” at the Chinatown subway stop.
Subway travelers said the unidentified confronted the victim over the fact that she was bundled up in her parka hood and was wearing a face mask and glasses.
Eyewitnesses said the attacker lashed out and struck the female victim, throwing out expletives while he did it.
Video captured at the scene showed the woman appearing to run toward the man after he first allegedly attacked her, only to be met with a flying kick, which missed. But the attack escalated as onlookers yelled and tried to stop the violence.
“Don’t f—king touch me!” the attacker can be heard yelling as he throws repeated blows at the woman.
Check out the video below.
The video garnered lots of attention online after the woman who shot the footage posted it to social media.
“I clearly heard the words ‘diseased bitch,’” @x_ginko wrote in her post. “I also heard her asking him to go away.”
She says instead of going away, things escalated.
She wrote that the male suspect “suddenly got very close to the woman’s face” and “hit her on the head with an audible sound.”
That’s when she began recording.
“What I didn’t expect was for the victim to chase after him,” she said, with the woman seemingly holding a glass bottle before the “guy started attacking her.”
“So ultimately, both parties had a fault, but the situation escalated with racial tension,” @x_ginko said.
“I’m not sure if the woman was Asian or not, she was wearing a face mask and glasses, so I couldn’t tell,” she wrote.
Wearing a face mask, especially in the city and during flu season, is not uncommon. Since the attack, people are asking others to ignore the hysteria and look out for one another.
“It’s incredible how much hysteria the Coronavirus news has created, please be safe out there y’all,” @x_ginko wrote. “Wearing a mask in NYC right now marks you as a target. please be careful, and stand up for your friends.”
The victim escaped with minor injuries, according to a tweet.
The lady is also alright!! She had a bloody lip a slight abrasion on her forehead, I think. Couldn't get a good look cause she was very unstable afterwards and didn't want help. I asked one of the MTA guys to keep an eye on her and call help if he deemed necessary.
— ✨gin✨ @ #WuhanStrong (@x_ginko) February 3, 2020
Police say that while a complaint has yet to be filed in the matter, their Hate Crime Task Force is looking into the incident.
“The NYPD and the Hate Crime Task Force encourage the victim to report this incident to the police for a full investigation,” the department tweeted along with the video.
“The hope is a family member or the individual sees this and says, ‘Oh, I should report this now.’ Enough traction has been made by the public,” a spokesperson said.
With all of the misinformation and hysteria being thrown around in the national media, it’s important to know what’s actually going on with the coronavirus outbreak.
Last Saturday, China’s death toll rose to 259, with an official from the World Health Organization saying that other governments need to prepare for “domestic outbreak control” if the disease spreads in their countries.
The number of confirmed cases in China rose to 11,791, which passed the number in the 2002-03 outbreak of the deadly SARS virus. The virus has spread rapidly in the past two months, which forced the WHO to declare it a global emergency.
Several countries have evacuated their citizens from China, primarily from the city of Wuhan, which is at the center of an area where some 50 million people are prevented from leaving in an effort to contain the virus. South Korea and India flew hundreds of their citizens out of the country.
While officials with the WHO were initially simply expressing caution about the virus, by declaring that countries needed to prepare for “domestic outbreak control” it escalated the preparation among many countries.
Most cases of the virus thus far have been people who visited China or their family members. The agency said they acted out of concern for poorer countries who have less ability to respond to such an emergency.
By doing so, a more coordinated international response can be put forth and it can also bring additional money and resources.
“Countries need to get ready for possible importation in order to identify cases as early as possible and in order to be ready for a domestic outbreak control, if that happens,” said Gauden Galea, the WHO representative in Beijing.
President Trump has commissioned a coronavirus task force, which on Friday announced a number of actions aimed at stemming the spread of the coronavirus outbreaks, including declaring a public-health emergency in the United States.
The task force said that starting Feb. 2, all returning U.S. citizens who traveled to Hubei Province, China over the past 14 days will undergo a mandatory quarantine for 14 days. Wuhan City, the epicenter of the viral outbreak is in that Chinese province.
In addition, the U.S. will no longer allow foreign nationals who have traveled to China over the past 14 days and “pose a risk” of spreading the disease into the U.S., according to Alex Azar, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. Immediate family members of U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have traveled to the area will face quarantines.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that 195 U.S. citizens who were evacuated out of Wuhan earlier this week have been placed in federal quarantine over concerns about the virus.
Nancy Messonnier, director of the Center for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory diseases said that this was the first time in 50 years the CDC had issued a quarantine.
Health officials said that the patients are currently being housed at the March Air Reserve base in Riverside County, California. One individual apparently tried to leave the facility but was held on the base.
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Several countries including the U.S. and Singapore have implemented stronger travel recommendations and border closures in light of the WHO declaration of a public health emergency and a surge in coronavirus cases world-wide.
On Friday, the U.S. State Department advised Americans not to travel to China in a Level 4 warning, its highest level. Singapore has said that any visitors who have traveled to mainland China within the last 14 days will be allowed to either enter the country or travel through it. Mongolia and Russia have closed borders and Pakistan banned all flights to and from mainland China.
Starting Sunday, Feb. 2, incoming U.S.-bound flights from China will be restricted to seven airports: John F. Kennedy International in New York, Chicago O’Hare International, San Francisco International, Seattle-Tacoma International, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, Los Angeles International and Daniel K. Inouye International in Honolulu.
“We worry that the market underappreciates the duration of this crisis in China,” said Raymond James; Chris Meekins, a former DHS official in a Jan. 30 note. “We believe the travel advisories are likely to continue for the next few months.”
On Thursday, pilots for American Airlines filed a lawsuit against the airline, seeking to halt flights between the U.S. and China. Delta Airlines and British Airways have halted all flights between the U.S. and China, while United Airlines has suspended some flights.
The viral outbreak is also claiming another victim…peoples 401-K’s. On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted by 2.1%, the S&P 500 by 1.8% and the Nasdaq by 1.6%. The drop was the largest single-day drop since August 2019, and the fifth-biggest drop ever.
Stocks hit hardest by the coronavirus outbreak are airlines, due to China travel restrictions, casino companies, travel and cruise stocks also dove due to canceled trips.
Financial experts do not know what the long-term impact on the markets will be, but note that the virus outbreak, especially in China, could have a significant effect on China’s already slowing economy. In 2002-2003 when the SARS outbreak occurred, estimates are that $40 billion was wiped out from world markets according to one study.
It is expected that this outbreak could last months, which could have a serious impact on what had been a robust U.S. economy, which recently passed the 29,000 mark on the Dow and set a record high.
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