MESA, Ariz. — In two weeks, a parking lot in Mesa will transform into a sea of Asian culture.
Vicente Reid is organizing the Asian District Night Market at AZ International Marketplace. He said he's been getting calls to cancel it.
"Four to five calls a week right in the past couple of weeks just essentially blaming us for the coronavirus," he said. "People asking use why are we bringing diseases into Arizona, which is absolutely atrocious to hear from anyone."
News of the spreading coronavirus has some people freaked out. Thousands are sick in China – hundreds dead. Entire cruise ships have been quarantined.
Some Arizona State University students have been wearing masks after someone associated with the university tested positive.
But Reid says this is different.
"If it was a health scare like we talk about and we take very serious, they would be calling the Suns, they would be calling the football stadiums, they would be calling everywhere that has a massive amount of people asking them what they're doing. But the reality is, that's not what's happening," he said.
Reid says while some are legitimately questioning, most are just hateful.
"They're calling the Asian Chamber because we're having an Asian event and asking if we're having people from Wuhan fly in just for this event," he said.
And apart from that one person who tested positive in the ASU community, who is recovering at home, the coronavirus has not shown up anywhere in Arizona.
"Look, we are American just like you are. Just because we have an Asian background or some of us immigrated from Asia a long time ago doesn't mean that we inherently carry a certain disease," Reid said.
He added that the Asian Night Market will not be canceled no matter how many phone calls he gets.