A Republican congressional candidate in Texas said this week that she didn't want Chinese immigrants to come to the U.S., blaming them for the spread of coronavirus.
Sery Kim, who worked in the Small Business Administration during the Trump administration, made the comments earlier this week during a forum for candidates running for an open seat in suburban Dallas-Fort Worth.
Kim, who is Korean American, said of Chinese immigrants, "I don’t want them here at all," while speaking at the forum on Wednesday. "They steal our intellectual property, they give us coronavirus, they don’t hold themselves accountable.”
The candidate drew laughs and applause from the crowd with her comments as she added: "And quite frankly, I can say that because I’m Korean."
A representative for Kim could not be immediately reached for comment on Friday.
The Dallas Fort Worth Asian-American Citizens Council condemned Kim's comments in a statement to NBC Dallas on Friday.
"The DFW Asian-American Citizens Council strongly condemns the remarks of Sery Kim," the group said in the statement. "Racist and ethnic slurs, regardless of the source, have no place in today’s society. Ms. Kim being of Korean descent does not give her license to use harmful language against Chinese or any other ethnic group."
Several of the initial coronavirus outbreaks in California and the East Coast were linked to people who had just come from Europe, where they were likely infected, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found.
Kim is running for the open 6th Congressional District seat formerly held by the late Ron Wright. The lawmaker died earlier this year from Covid-19 complications.
Wright won his second term in November, 50.7 percent to 45.9 percent, against Democrat Stephen Daniel.
The special election is set for May 1.