Biden White House Suggests Trump to Blame for Anti-Asian Violence Spike
WH says 'certain political leaders' xenophobic rhetoric led to spike
The White House took a thinly veiled jab at Donald Trump on Friday, blaming the recent anti-Asian violence spike on rhetoric from "certain political leaders."
The White House said in a fact sheet:
"The COVID-19 pandemic, and the xenophobic rhetoric used by certain political leaders during this crisis, have led to a tragic spike in acts of anti-Asian bias, violence, and xenophobia."
Though it didn't mention him by name, other Democrats have openly attacked Trump for daring to suggest the coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China.
"Unfortunately, Donald Trump and his administration have failed to show almost any moral leadership when it comes to this issue," Biden said in April of last year.
"Indeed, Trump’s attempts to deflect responsibility away from his own failures in addressing this pandemic by calling the coronavirus the ‘Chinese Virus’ during the White House press briefings stoked feelings of hatred and anger toward Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders."
"The casual racism and regular xenophobia that we have seen from Trump and this administration is a national scourge," he said.
Trump ignored concerns and continued to use the phrase.
Trump said in a March statement.
"I hope everyone remembers when they’re getting the COVID-19 (often referred to as the China Virus) Vaccine, that if I wasn’t President, you wouldn’t be getting that beautiful ‘shot’ for 5 years, at best, and probably wouldn’t be getting it at all."
Trump's swipe comes as Biden is set to sign an Executive Order to establish a White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders that he says will drive an agenda to advance equity, justice, and opportunity for those communities.
The White House wrote in its fact sheet:
"Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) communities together constitute the fastest-growing ethnic group in the United States and make invaluable contributions to our society, our economy, and our culture.
"Yet for far too long, systemic barriers to equity, justice, and opportunity have put the American dream out of reach for many AA and NHPI communities, and racism, nativism, and xenophobia against AA and NHPI communities continues to threaten safety and dignity of AA and NHPI families."
The White House also noted Biden's recent bill he signed into law targeting COVID-19 hate crimes, giving grant local law enforcement agencies to improve their investigation of such incidents.
Conservatives push back against the connection between Trump's rhetoric and anti-Asian violence.
"This violence, by and large, is happening in Democrat-controlled cities," Rep. Jim Jordan said.
"If "money wasn’t taken from police and they were allowed to do their jobs, we would probably be in an entirely different position."
The news comes after Facebook announced it was lifting its ban on posts about COVID-19 potentially being manmade and will limit censorship of theories about the coronavirus possibly originating from a Chinese Communist Party laboratory.
The move comes as support continues to mount for investigations into the theory that the virus leaked from a Wuhan lab.
Facebook initially put the ban into place on February 8 after the social media giant consulted the World Health Organization (WHO).
Now, the ban will be removed to allow debate around the true origin of the COVID-19 pandemic “in light of ongoing investigations.”