Discrimination and violence against Asian-Americans has unfortunately been a reality in the United States since at least 1882, but fighting it has taken on new urgency during the coronavirus pandemic writes Kent Wong, founding president of Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance.

While the reality is that Asian-Americans are on the front lines of the fight to keep the country healthy and safe – from Filipina nurses to Vietanmese supermarket employees – unwarranted suspicion of this population is now on the rise, owing in large part to Donald Trump’s ignorant and racist classification of the coronavirus as the “China virus.”

Trump, who has continuously downplayed the urgency of the pandemic, now uses Asian-Americans as a convenient scapegoat and distraction from his administration’s shameful failure to supply the country with adequate testing units and personal protective equipment.

The Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, in an effort to address the situation, “is launching an online campaign to celebrate the images and stories of Asian American workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis,” says Kent Wong, the founding president of APALA. “At the same time, we want to use this opportunity to highlight the need for universal healthcare, paid sick leave, and a social safety net that supports everyone in this country, including our undocumented immigrants.”

Read more about APALA’s efforts here.