SAN FRANCISCO — Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) joined community leaders on a tour of Chinatown on Feb. 24 to support local small businesses facing losses due to fear associated with the coronavirus outbreak.
Pelosi spoke to the precautions being taken by the city, where no infections had occurred, noting Chinatown is safe and expressing hope that many will join her in visiting Chinatown.
According to NBC Bay Area, Pelosi visited The Wok Shop (where she bought a wok), a temple and the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory, which was started 58 years ago by owner Kevin Chan’s mother and uncle.
Chan said his business was losing about $500 to $800 a day. Some Chinatown merchants have reported a 50 percent drop in business.
Stating that fear of the virus is racially motivated, Chan said, “Even if I walk out and cough a little bit — my throat is itchy — they look at me.”
As Pelosi walked to Dim Sum Corner for lunch, she hugged friends and waved to onlookers.
While she understands that people are concerned about China, she said, “that shouldn’t be carried over to Chinatown in San Francisco … All I can say is I’m here. We feel safe and sound.”
“So glad Speaker Pelosi came today to support Chinatown,” said one of the community leaders, Rev. Norman Fong.