We’ve been down this road before, too many times. In the 14th century, the Black Death provoked mass violence against Jews, Catalans, clerics and beggars; when syphilis spread in the 15th century, it was called variously the Neapolitan, French, Polish and German disease, depending on who was pointing the blame; when the plague struck Honolulu in 1899, officials burned down Chinatown.

And so on, down to our times, when epidemics like ebola, SARS and zika fueled animus toward specific regions or peoples.

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