In the past few months we have heard the President of the United States refer to COVID-19 as “The Chinese Virus” or “Wu Han Flu.” We have looked on as individuals of Asian background have been beaten on New York subways or spat upon in Los Angeles. Even more recently, migrants have been refused the right to appeal the denial of asylum status on public health grounds. This double helix of health and fear has been an historical perennial and yet there was less xenophobia during the 1918 influenza pandemic than now. This presentation explores the link between American attitudes toward immigration and public health crises throughout our history. It concludes with some discussion of the broader social and cultural changes in American life possibly derived from the current pandemic experience.
* SPECIAL EVENT: ARC TALK * with
DISTINGUISHED PROFESSOR OF HISTORY, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY
Past President, Organization of American Historians
(Hunter College Alumnus)
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 4:00 – 5:30
Register at: https://tinyurl.com/ARC-Seminars