OPEN LETTER: UCLA Law’s APILSA Responds to Prof. Stephen Bainbridge’s “Egregious” Tweets

UCLA's School of Law

By Guest Contributor: UCLA Law‘s Asian/Pacific Islander Law Students’ Association (APILSA)

Editor’s Note: On February 25 and on April 6, UCLA Law Professor Stephen Bainbridge posted tweets musing whether his Chinese students were carriers of COVID-19 and linking Chinese consumption of exotic meats to the spread of novel coronavirus. Professor Bainbridge later deleted the tweets and blocked UCLA Law students who criticized them. Facing mounting criticism, yesterday Professor Bainbridge engaged people on Twitter — including the editor of this blog — walking back the content of his tweets.

This is an open letter written by UCLA Law’s APILSA regarding Professor Bainbridge’s tweets. Full text of this letter can also be viewed on Google Docs. You can add your name as a signatory to this letter here.

Shortly after this letter was made public, Professor Bainbridge deleted his Twitter account.


Dear Law School Community,

On Tuesday, February 25, 2020, Stephen Bainbridge (@ProfBainbridge, Note: now deleted) issued the following (now-deleted) Tweet:1Stephen Bainbridge (@ProfBainbridge), Twitter, [https://perma.cc/GL4F-AMMZ] (Feb. 25, 2020)

“If we ask nicely, do you think we can get China to ban eating bats, civets, and other wild animals that serve as viral hosts?”

On Monday, April 6, 2020, Stephen Bainbridge issued the following series of (now-deleted) Tweets:2The original tweet links to an NPR Morning Edition Episode, which actually discusses the racism that Chinese students are experiencing due to COVID. See Coronavirus Concerns Weigh On Chinese Students At U.S. Colleges, NPR (Feb. 6, 2020) (noting that racially insensitive comments “have led to a sense of ill-ease among some Chinese students here and that’s amplified by social media back home”)

“1/ The Economist reports that an antibody test for the novel coronavirus will soon be available.  I would be most curious to take one. As some of you know, I had a horrific cold/flu in late January/early February that I assumed was a bad case of bronchitis.” 

“2/ But I have a number of Chinese students in my class this semester and I wonder if one of them might have brought the virus back from China.  I assume not because I know of nobody else at the law Schoo [sic] who got sick, but still… One wonders.”

Continue reading “OPEN LETTER: UCLA Law’s APILSA Responds to Prof. Stephen Bainbridge’s “Egregious” Tweets”