Organizers say Husted agrees to meet with Upper Arlington Asian community after ‘Wuhan Virus’ tweet

Coronavirus

UPPER ARLINGTON, Ohio (WCMH) — Members of the Upper Arlington Asian community said Lt. Gov. Jon Husted has agreed to meet with them after they penned a letter condemning a recent tweet by Husted.

The meeting, according to a press release from the organizers behind the letter to Husted, will take place this Friday at a private residence in Upper Arlington.

On March 26, Husted re-tweeted a tweet about an Axios article in which the ex-Centers for Disease Control director said the COVID-19 virus could have been developed in a Chinese laboratory, with Husted adding, “So it appears it was the Wuhan Virus after all?”

The tweet was sent from Husted’s personal account, not his account as lieutenant governor, @LtGovHusted.

Husted’s tweet drew the ire of many Ohioans, particularly Asians, at a time when hate crimes against Asian Americans has spiked, with many citing similar language used by former President Donald Trump as part of the reason for the rise in incidents.

Last week, the Asian community of Upper Arlington, where Husted is a resident, issued a letter condemning Husted’s use of the phrase “Wuhan Virus,” saying the letter’s intent is “not to inflame, but to open a dialogue that we hope can make Upper Arlington a better place for our families.”

Husted has defended his use of the phrase as a criticism of the Chinese government, adding its use is no different than using locations to identify other strains of the COVID-19 virus.

Friday’s meeting is set to include a small representation of the more than 80 members and families of Upper Arlington’s Asian community who signed the letter.

As of Monday afternoon, the tweet remains in Husted’s feed.

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