We estimate the effect of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic on racial animus, as measured by Google searches and Twitter posts including a commonly used anti-Asian racial slur. Our empirical strategy exploits the plausibly exogenous variation in the timing of the first Covid-19 diagnosis across regions in the United States. We find that the first local diagnosis leads to an immediate increase in racist Google searches and Twitter posts, with the latter mainly coming from existing Twitter users posting the slur for the first time. This increase could indicate a rise in future hate crimes, as we document a strong correlation between the use of the slur and anti-Asian hate crimes using historic data. Moreover, we find that the rise in the animosity is directed at Asians rather than other minority groups and is stronger on days when the connection between the disease and Asians is more salient, as proxied by President Trump's tweets mentioning China and Covid-19 at the same time. In contrast, the negative economic impact of the pandemic plays little role in the initial increase in racial animus. Our results suggest that de-emphasizing the connection between the disease and a particular racial group can be effective in curbing current and future racial animus.