Short Wave: As Coronavirus Spreads, Racism And Xenophobia Are Too

Coronavirus is all over the headlines these days. Accompanying those headlines? Suspicion and harassment of Asians and Asian Americans.

Our colleague Gene Demby, co-host of NPR’s Code Switch podcast, explains that this is part of a longer history in the United States of camouflaging xenophobia and racism as public health and hygiene concerns. Featuring the work of historian Erika Lee, author of “America For Americans: A History Of Xenophobia In The United States.”

Related Coverage:

Check out Code Switch‘s full digital story and podcast episode.

Read NPR editor Malaka Gharib‘s comic on what we know about the coronavirus and how to deal with it.

And pick up a copy of Erika Lee’s book America for Americans: A History of Xenophobia in the United States.

Follow Code Switch hosts Gene Demby and Shereen Marisol Meraji on Twitter to keep up-to-date on their coverage. They’re @GeeDee215 and @RadioMirage. Plus, follow Emily on Twitter, @EmilyKwong1234, for her musings on science news.

As always, reach out to the show by e-mailing


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