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JACL: Comparing COVID-19 Response to Pearl Harbor, 9/11 ‘Inappropriate’

By April 6, 2020No Comments

In a statement released Monday, the National JACL responded to the surgeon general’s comments calling the COVID-19 viral pandemic as a “Pearl Harbor moment” for the nation “inappropriate.”

In an appearance Sunday morning on Fox News, Surgeon General and Vice Admiral Jerome Adams warned that this week would be “the hardest and the saddest” thus far since the novel cornonavirus began spreading here and said that the United States was facing a “Pearl Harbor moment,” as well as a “9/11 moment.”

In its statement, the JACL said: “For many Japanese Americans and American Muslims, making such comparisons can have a severe emotional and traumatic impact.

“In the immediate wake of Pearl Harbor, many people of Japanese ancestry were swept up and imprisoned without trial or formal charges only on the basis of their ancestry, citizenship or leadership in the Japanese American community. Within months, nearly 120,000 people of Japanese heritage would be forcibly removed from their homes on the West Coast and transferred to 10American concentration camps. For them, this is the memory of America’s response to Pearl Harbor.”

Although the JACL agreed with Adams’ when he said, “[This is] going to be the hardest moment for many Americans in their entire lives,” it added that “there is absolutely no comparison to be made between these two events.

“We urge leaders such as Vice Admiral Adams to carefully consider their words before making historical comparisons to our current situation.”

To read the entire JACL’s news release, visit here.