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Confucius Institute U.S. Center Offers Support to Stem Spread of Coronavirus
WASHINGTON, Feb. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Confucius Institute U.S. Center announced today a program to offer translation services and language resources free of charge to medical facilities across the United States. This endeavor seeks to address the need of those in the medical community to understand potential cultural differences in response to the growing demand for global collaboration in addressing the spread of the coronavirus.
"As a community of Chinese language learners, educators, and professionals, the coronavirus outbreak hits close to home," said Gao Qing, Executive Director of the Confucius Institute U.S. Center. "With bilingual expertise and a global educational network, including a number of medical schools around the world, we recognize we are in a unique position to offer support," he said.
At a recent press conference in Washington, DC, Anne Schuchat, Principal Deputy Director of the Centers for Disease Control, addressed the role organizations like Confucius Institutes can play during this global health crisis. "The communication aspects of an emerging infection are really critical to both understand concerns and communicate effectively to the different groups." She pointed out that understanding the global communication challenges and cultural differences of an emerging infection is critical. "Obviously," she said, "this outbreak is occurring in the context of not just 24/7 news but of social media, on a level probably many of us couldn't imagine when we were dealing with SARS in 2003."
Schuchat emphasized that getting accurate information through trusted channels is important to affected individuals and groups as well as communities who risk marginalization due to the spread of misinformation. "We know that in many outbreaks, different populations become stigmatized, and that's a thing we're already worried about here in the U.S. and around the world--somebody coming back from this community or that community may be treated differently when they try to reenter their school or workplace, and businesses in a certain neighborhood might be boycotted. So, I think the language and cultural competency of an organization like yours can be an asset to this type of response."
The Confucius Institute U.S. Center is a nonprofit organization that supports the teaching of Chinese language and culture in the United States and fosters educational exchanges between China and the United States.
SOURCE Confucius Institute U.S. Center