CNN’s Natasha Chen was racially harassed by a beachgoer while on a live shot on Sunday.
“He said to me ‘to get out of his country’ with an expletive, and that I was responsible for this [the coronavirus],” she said to CNN.
But the national correspondent assured the audience that most people they interviewed were cooperative and “open to talking to us.”
Later, on her Twitter, Chen also thanked supporters who “reached out” in support.
Chen and her crew were reporting on the crowds at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, out to celebrate Memorial Day weekend. The city had an executive order this past week that police can have authority to enforce the social distancing rules, which were violated by many beachgoers earlier. The Centers for Disease Control recommend that people stay more than six feet apart to avoid spreading the virus, or COVID-19, which still does not have a vaccine.
All 50 states have lifted stay-at-home restrictions, even as the death toll rises to nearly 100,000.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, a White House coronavirus task force member, said that going outside this week was fine, but with proper cautionary methods.
“Go out, wear a mask, stay 6 feet away from anyone so you can have the physical distancing,” Dr. Fauci said in a CNN coronavirus-specific Town Hall. “Go for a run, go for a walk, go fishing—as long as you’re not in a crowd, and you’re not in a situation where you can physically transmit the virus.”
Chen reported that the CNN crew were the only ones wearing masks that day, with parties “pretty well spaced out from each other.”
Although she was not wearing a mask, Chen said she does not wear one on-camera, but puts it back while walking in a crowd.
She also acknowledged the incident on her social media—notably, the beachgoer’s “get out of his country” comment.
“It’s OUR country,” she wrote on her Facebook page. “Unfortunately, I know a lot of my fellow Asian Americans are getting a this kind of behavior.”
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