Coronavirus-related racial discrimination has declined in recent months but still persists, USC study finds

EXPOSITION PARK, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A new USC study reveals that while coronavirus-related discrimination against racial minorities has declined over the past few months, it still exists.

According to USC Dornsife's Understanding Coronavirus in America study, 1 in 3 Black, Asian and Latino people have experienced at least one incident of COVID-related discrimination since the pandemic began, compared to 1 in 5 white people.

Joe Moran of Rowland Heights, in line to be tested at Dodger Stadium, was not surprised by the findings. "There's always been discrimination in the United States... it's the color that always counts," said Moran.

Eyewitness News spoke to Research Scientist Ying Liu, who reported COVID-related discrimination peaked in April with 11% of people reporting a recent incident. Alleged discrimination steadily declined to 7% at the beginning of June.

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"The situations include being harassed or threatened... and people acting as if they're afraid of them," said Liu.

Liu says in early June, Asian Americans were more than 2.5 times as likely as white people to experience recent COVID-related discrimination. Blacks and Latinos were nearly twice as likely.

Respondents in the survey were also asked if people treated them with less courtesy and respect, or gave them poorer service at restaurants or stores.

"These kind of experiences are not really new to minority groups in the United States," said Liu, who added that Asian Americans were among the first racial-ethnic groups to experience substantial discrimination.

Jose Mexia and his wife had screening appointments Tuesday morning at Dodger Stadium. He said they are proactively tested every month to better protect their family.

"I think (racism) stems from our leadership, they're the ones causing the division between the races when we're trying to come together at this time," said Mexia.

A total of 7,475 U.S. adults participated in the tracking survey from March 10 to June 23, 2020.
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