To the Editor:
Rep. Adam Kinzinger’s comments and actions over the past several weeks have done a gross disservice to people of Asian descent living in the U.S., be they citizens or not.
In March, he was a major co-sponsor of a proposed House resolution introduced by Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana, known as the Banks’ Resolution. It pointed the finger of blame at China as the source of the coronavirus, condemned the Chinese government’s supposed attempts to deny its existence and silence those reporting otherwise, and severely criticized the director of the World Health Organization and its handling of the outbreak and spread of what became a worldwide pandemic.
In subsequent news releases, op-ed items, and interviews with broadcast and print media within the 16th Congressional District, Kinzinger has repeated major points in that resolution, even as we in this country have witnessed and experienced a less than forthright handling of the pandemic.
The administration’s mistakes and mixed messages are glossed over and excused, while China is “slammed” (check out the congressman’s own website regarding that word!) for its handling of the pandemic.
One result of playing the blame-game is that members of the Asian community are on the receiving end of unsolicited comments and nasty looks from individuals who cannot distinguish between people of Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean, Malaysian or other Asian backgrounds.
Members of our immediate family have seen and experienced these uncalled-for acts of disrespect for people who are “not like us.”
Perhaps our congressman should take some time to read the recently published report by Common Cause regarding the manner in which the Trump administration has handled the COVID-19 pandemic. Before pointing the finger of blame at someone else and calling for investigations of China’s handling of the pandemic, I would suggest a thorough investigation of our own failures would be in order. Of special interest would be the manner in which some $2 trillion was misused and mishandled by the Trump administration and the interference of the “shadow” pandemic office run by the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
Congressman Kinzinger: I believe it’s time to get the story straight.
Roger V. Asplund