An associate professor at the University of Missouri has been fired after an online class exchange in which he responded to a student who said he was from Wuhan, China, "Let me get my mask on."

COLUMBIA — An associate professor at the University of Missouri has been fired after an online class exchange in which he responded to a student who said he was from Wuhan, China, "Let me get my mask on."

The Columbia Missourian reported that Joel Poor was relieved of his teaching duties on Monday after the comment was posted on Twitter.

Poor was leading an online marketing class. In the video, he asks if any students are from outside the U.S. A student says he is from China.

"I've heard of China," Poor says, asking where the student is from in China.

"Actually, Wuhan," the student said.

"Wuhan? Well, let me get my mask on," Poor says with a slight laugh.

Poor apologized in an email and said the reference was meant as a joke. But many students replied to the tweet that they found the comment racist and xenophobic.

A university spokesman said the comment was reported to the university's Office of Civil Rights and Title IX for investigation.