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San Jose's Jeannie Mai slams jokes about coronavirus and Asians

San Jose Mercury News - 2/13/2020

Feb. 13--Jeannie Mai has had enough. The San Jose-born TV personality is clapping back at clueless trolls for circulating jokes about her Asian heritage and the coronavirus outbreak.

During Wednesday's episode of the syndicated TV talk show The Real," Mai, one of the program's co-hosts, slammed social media comments about the deadly illness posted on photos featuring her and boyfriend Jeezy during New York Fashion Week.

"... I saw in the comments on other blogs a couple times of like, 'Don't be catching that coronavirus Jeezy,' " Mai said. "Or, 'She got that corona that latched him in.' And that's so hurtful because there are actually people that are dying from this."

"And I also heard that there are schools that are considering to quarantine Asian kids because they just want to keep it safe," Mai added. "This is real life out there. I just want to say, we know that misinformation, coupled with fear, leads to Xenophobia. Xenophobia is a deep-rooted fear against foreigners. We just got to do better and know that when it comes to yourself, educate yourself so that you don't give life to fears."

"The Real" co-host Adrienne Bailon Houghton had Mai's back, telling the audience, "We need to, again, be allies to our Asian folks, our Asian friends, and stand with them. If you see something, say something. Don't let people put up memes like that."

Mai then ran into the audience, hugging random people and prompting laughter.

"Like really, it's okay, we're all right," she said.

Mai was born and raised in San Jose to a Vietnamese mother and a Chinese father. She attended Milpitas High School. In addition to her duties on "The Real," she serves as a sideline reporter during Season 1 of Steph Curry'sABC reality series "Holey Moley."

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