"It's very important that we totally protect our Asian American community in the United States and all around the world", he said.
"They are wonderful people and the spreading of the virus is not their fault in any way, shape, or form", he said. I wish they would have told us three months sooner. We will prevail together.
US President Donald Trump - under fire for labelling Covid-19 the "Chinese virus" - has said Asian Americans should not be blamed for the outbreak.
Earlier on Monday, the New York Times cited advocacy groups and researchers as saying there has been a surge of verbal and physical assaults on Asian-Americans reported in newspapers and to tip lines as the virus has taken hold in the United States.
Taro Aso, the gaffe-prone Japanese deputy prime minister, called the virus "Wuhan virus" at a press conference, referring to the central Chinese city where the illness was first reported late past year.
During press conferences last week, Trump used the term "China virus" and "Chinese virus", rejecting suggestions from reporters that the term was racist, said the BBC report. A reporter asked at the news conference.
Oil prices volatile as virus saps demand
Oversupply is so extreme that regulators in Texas considered curbing production there for the first time in almost 50 years. Most stations in Regina are selling gas for 76.9¢ per litre, when just weeks ago prices were in the $1.00 per litre range.
Other experts and officials, including Chu's caucus, say use of the term has already resulted in a slew of attacks related to misinformation around the virus.
Trump emphasized his comments in a Twitter thread on Monday.
Raw Story reports: "The director of the Center for Disease Control, Dr. Robert Redfield, said that the unit was 'actually being augmented.' He didn't answer whether the person in the position for 30 years was let go, quit, or something else".
"I encourage the president to listen to his own tweet and shift away from xenophobia and stop calling it the 'Chinese virus, '" she said.