Oct. 9, 2020 By Allie Griffin
U.S. Congresswoman Grace Meng is concerned that the Jewish community will be targeted by bigots following the outbreak of COVID-19 in a number of ultra-orthodox neighborhoods across the city.
Meng — who has herself been subject to anti-Asian vitriol related to the coronavirus outbreak — said leaders must prevent hatred from spreading to the Jewish community in Queens.
“I’ve experienced how one community can be singled out and unjustly blamed for COVID-19,” she said in a statement. “Bigotry and violence have been directed toward the Asian American community, and we need to prevent that hate from continuing to spread toward my constituents in the Jewish community in Queens.”
She said no one group should be blamed for COVID-19 transmission.
“My constituents in the Jewish community, and many throughout our region, are doing their utmost to follow the rules to keep our city safe,” Meng continued. “The actions of those not following the rules, amplified by news reports, should not be conflated with the actions of the many who are following the rules.”
She condemned the recent violence and violation of public health guidelines at protests in Borough Park over the last few nights. A reporter was brutally attacked by a mob of protesters on Wednesday night and two other people were assaulted by protesters the night before in the same neighborhood, according to news reports.
Still Meng said the acts of a few bad actors in the community do not represent the community as a whole.
“There should never be blanket discrimination against the entire Jewish population of New York,” she said.
Meng said the health standards must be consistent across the city.
“Everyone must adhere to the rules: no mass indoor gatherings, no large groups inside houses of worship, wear masks, practice social distancing, and encourage testing in our communities,” the Congresswoman said. “If we all follow these guidelines, we will get through this together and keep our city safe.”
A number of Queens officials are concerned about bigotry, with several saying that the Jewish community is being scapegoated for the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases.