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32 percent of Americans have seen coronavirus bias against Asians

Roughly one in three Americans have witnessed someone blaming Asian people for the coronavirus pandemic, a new poll released Tuesday found.

Thirty-two percent of the 1,001 adults surveyed admitted they have seen anti-Asian bias in regards to the origins of the virus, which has killed more than 212,000 people worldwide, according to the Center for Public Integrity/Ipsos poll.

Sixty percent of Asians reported witnessing the behavior, compared to 43 percent of black respondents and just 27 percent of their white counterparts.

A majority of Americans, however, said they believe the pandemic is a natural disaster, while 44 percent said blamed specific groups or organizations. Of those respondents, 66 percent mentioned China or Chinese citizens and 13 percent said they believe a lab in the communist nation caused COVID-19.

“The majority of people — a bare majority, but a majority — are still viewing the pandemic as a natural disaster,” Chris Jackson, Ipsos’ head of public polling, told NBC News.

“We’ve not asked this particular question before, but we’re asked similar questions, and that number is coming down. Earlier on, there was a much larger number of people who viewed it as a natural disaster.”

Among specific groups, Republicans (60 percent), retirees (51 percent) and people without a college education (48 percent) are most likely to believe that the pandemic isn’t a natural disaster, the poll found.

Twelve percent of those polled said they believed the US government or the administration of a country other than China was the cause of the pathogen, while 3 percent said it’s part of biological warfare.

The survey, which was conducted from April 16 to 17, has a “credibility interval” of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. It comes one week after a Pew Research Center poll found that 66 percent of Americans have negative views of China, a rise of nearly 20 percentage points since the start of the Trump administration in 2017.

The findings also coincide with nearly 1,500 reports of coronavirus-related discrimination against Asian Americans across the country since mid-March, according to a reporting center founded in part by Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council.

“The volume of incident reports continues to be concerning,” executive director Manjusha Kulkarni said in a statement Friday.

“But, beyond the sheer numbers, we hear the impact of hate in the pain, humiliation, trepidation and fear in the voices of [Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders] today. This is a widespread problem with significant ramifications for our communities.”

The majority of all incidents reported by the STOP AAPI HATE campaign, or 58 percent, occurred in New York and California, and women were more than twice as likely to be harassed than men, researchers said found.

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