Garcetti expresses support for AAPI community, condemns uptick in COVID-19-related discrimination
The City of Los Angeles has increased worker protections and requirements for “non-medical essential” employees across the city, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced in a press briefing on Tuesday, April 7.
Effective Friday, April 10, the new order requires employees at grocery stores, drug stores, restaurants, hotels, taxis and rideshare vehicles, construction sites and other essential businesses to wear cloth-based coverings over their mouths and noses while on the job.
Employers are required to provide these coverings or reimburse the cost of these facial coverings which are becoming more readily available.
The order also requires that these workplaces provide a “clean and sanitary restroom” and allow workers to wash their hands every 30 minutes as well as proper physical distancing measures that protect workers, employers, and customers.
Customers, notably, are now required to also wear face coverings when they enter these businesses, Garcetti added.
“If you’re shopping for groceries, picking up your prescription or visiting any other essential business you will need to cover your face, and if you’re not covering your face by Friday morning an essential business can refuse you service,” he said in his Tuesday address.
The mayor also pointed out the massive community efforts among hospitals to ensure that more hospital beds, ventilators, and drive-thru testing are available to Angelenos. Garcetti noted that, if Los Angeles were an independent state, the City of LA would be ranked fourth in the number of tests provided per capita just behind New York, Louisiana and Washington.
But LA County would be “in the middle of that pack” and vowed to increase the number of testing available throughout the county.
“We still have a way to walk together, and I need your help. We need every community to understand that this will affect you. To every person, even if you’re young, this will find you and kill you or a loved one, and no matter what community you live in or come from, this is a threat to you,” Garcetti added.
Condemning anti-Asian racism
Throughout this crisis, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti has made it his sole duty to help Angelenos adjust to this new normal, delivering virtual daily updates and pontificating on the importance of solidarity among all the communities within LA County.
The disturbing reports of increased discrimination and harassment towards members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community have underscored the overall tension and fragility of this outbreak as well as the lack of knowledge many have about how viruses are spread.
The COVID-19 virus was named so because it was first identified in December 2019 in the Hubei region of China and has since spread to nearly every continent, upending society on a literally global level. Viral videos and police reports have shown that AAPIs have been beaten, spat at, verbally harassed and shut out of businesses as a response to the virus
Because of its known roots in China, and United States’ history of discriminating against the AAPI community during public health crises, more members of the AAPI community have been targeted in acts of discrimination, and there is a credible link between the usage of popular misnomers like “Chinese virus” and the rise anti-Asian sentiments.
In response to the rise of anti-Asian sentiments, Garcetti affirmed the fear AAPIs may be facing during this time and encouraged all victims to report all instances of discrimination to the LA Police Department.
“Report these hate crimes because they are crimes, and there is no place in our city for discrimination,” Garcetti said. “This is a virus, this is a health crisis. It could start anywhere in the world, and it doesn’t matter where it started. What matters is that it is now across the world and we are all fighting it and fighting it together.” (Klarize Medenilla/AJPress)