Awkwafina speaks out on 'cruelty' of rhetoric surrounding coronavirus

"I worry for those who are most at risk for serious illness."

Awkawafina had been silent about the COVID-19 pandemic until this week when the Asian-American actress opened up about what she described as "cruelty" in the rhetoric surrounding the novel coronavirus.

In a lengthy Instagram post Tuesday, the 31-year-old "Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens" star explained that she had been "away for a few months in all of this devastation" and "wanted to make double [sic] sure I was OK to travel before coming back home to the US."

The post, accompanied by a photo of Awkwafina, wearing a mask, continued, "I am just saddened by it. I worry for those who are most at risk for serious illness, the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions. I am saddened by the rhetoric that has come out of this, and the cruelty that came as a result."

In recent weeks, Asian-Americans have reported they've been harassed amid the coronavirus outbreak, leading actor Tzi Ma and others to create #WashTheHate videos to raise awareness about pandemic-related harassment against those of Asian descent.

"I hope that while we self isolate and socially distance to stay safe, we also stay sane and calm," she added. "Wishing everyone a sense of peace during this bats--- crazy time - I will be locking myself up for the next 2 weeks rewatching the Tiger King. Love you all."