City of Daly City Denounces Stigmatization, Hateful Racism and Xenophobia During the COVID-19 Pandemic


Daly City – On Monday, April 13, 2020, the City Council of Daly City was the first in the Bay Area to adopt a Resolution to denounce stigmatization, hateful racism and xenophobia during the COVID-19 pandemic, due to a sharp increase in discrimination against Asian Americans, immigrants and even health care workers. Stigmatization during the pandemic began early on, fueled by fear and uncertainty around COVID-19 and hateful political rhetoric at the federal level. Daly City Officials recognize that stigma significantly threatens our collective resilience and recovery.

“There is zero tolerance in Daly City for COVID-19-related discrimination against Asian Americans, immigrants, first responders and medical personnel. Both our Police Department and the San Mateo County District Attorney take these incidents extremely seriously. We all need to work together to get through this pandemic. The stigmatization of certain groups will undoubtedly hurt our recovery,” said Daly City Mayor Glenn Sylvester.

Both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warn of the dangers of stigmatization during disease outbreaks. Criminalizing or dehumanizing terminology, often that assigns blame, creates the impression that certain groups of people have somehow done something wrong or are less human than the rest of use, feeding stigma, undermining empathy and potentially fueling wider reluctance to seek treatment among our population. Indeed, the use of the term “Chinese virus” by the President of the United States and other community figures has played a tremendous role in fueling stigma across the globe.

The Stop AAPI Hate reporting center has gathered over 1,000 reports of anti-Asian discrimination in just over one week. Established by San Francisco State University’s Asian American Studies Department, Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA) and the Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council (A3PCON), it continues to receive about 100 incident reports a day. These incidents range from shunning and verbal harassment to workplace discrimination and physical assault. A large percentage involves spitting and coughing at Asian Americans. These reports reveal the virulent anger and hostility now directed at Asian Americans.

Residents who witness or are victims of assaults such as deliberate coughing, sneezing or physically threatening actions should report the incidents by calling 9-1-1. These types of assaults are hate crimes. Please register your experiences with the Stop AAPI Hate Center at

“The numbers of reported incidents, which do not capture everything happening in our communities right now, are shocking. In response, Daly City is launching a campaign in collaboration with our local businesses to boost awareness of stigma and promote tolerance. We will also continue to spread the facts on COVID-19 and spotlight positive stories of local people that have acted as heroes, such as first responders. That positive messaging is so important right now. We want to send a strong message that Daly City supports its diverse population in order to champion an inclusive recovery effort,” said Daly City Vice Mayor Juslyn Manalo.

Daly City as an immigrant community – more than half of the population is foreign born and more than half is of Asian descent – draws its strength from its highly diverse population. The City is committed to combatting hate and will be distributing hundreds of “Daly City Stands United Against Hate” posters to businesses for display in prominent locations. It will include anti-stigma messaging in weekly Public Service Announcement videos with top City leadership on its homepage at and in all other City communications.

The fact that stigmatization is happening here in the Bay Area, long known as a bastion of tolerance, underscores the importance of speaking out against discrimination. Asian Americans do not represent a greater risk of spreading COVID-19. Medical personnel that are on the front lines in caring for patients with COVID-19 – our neighbors, our relatives and our friends – must be provided our unwavering support, as they sacrifice so much to continue to work through the pandemic. The City has a duty to speak out against all forms of discrimination and especially now, as stigmatization of groups during the pandemic will only hurt our recovery efforts.