The updates build on a memorandum issued by President Joe Biden in January and come a day after an Asian American woman was brutally assaulted in an attack in New York City.
THE BIDEN administration on Tuesday announced several new actions in its efforts to combat anti-Asian violence amid a rise in discrimination and attacks during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The updates, released in a White House fact sheet, come a day after a 65-year-old Asian American woman was brutally assaulted in New York City in an attack that was caught on surveillance video and has since been widely shared.
Just as concerning to many who have seen the video of the attack was the inaction of at least three people inside the condo building’s lobby, including a man who appeared to be a security guard who not only did not intervene or immediately help the victim but then closed the door to the building.
The attack is the latest incident in a year-long increase in anti-Asian discrimination, harrasment and violence. The issue has leapt to the forefront of the national conversation in the last several weeks following a series of high-profile attacks on Asian Americans that escalated dramatically when a gunman earlier this month killed eight people at spas outside of Atlanta, six of whom were women of Asian descent.
The fact sheet doesn’t mention the recent attack in New York, but the timing of its release was significant.
“Across our nation, an outpouring of grief and outrage continues at the horrific violence and xenophobia perpetrated against Asian American communities, especially Asian American women and girls. As President Biden said during his first prime time address, anti-Asian violence and xenophobia is wrong, it’s un-American, and it must stop,” the White House said in the fact sheet Tuesday.
The Biden administration said it was reinstating a White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, with an initial focus on anti-Asian bias and violence. The White House also announced the creation of a subcommittee on the COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force aimed at addressing and mitigating anti-Asian xenophobia. And the fact sheet detailed the actions of a Department of Justice initiative to combat anti-Asian violence.
The actions build on a memorandum issued by President Joe Biden in January condemning racism and acts of hate against members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. The memorandum directed the secretary of Health and Human Services to work with the COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force and consider issuing guidance on how to increase cultural education and sensitivity toward Asian Americans in the government’s coronavirus response. The directive also asked the Department of Justice to look into how it could assist localities in responding to acts of hate against Asian Americans.
News source: US News