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Rep. Waters Condemns Anti-Asian Hate Crimes Amid COVID-19

February 19, 2021
Press Release

Rep. Waters Condemns Anti-Asian Hate Crimes Amid COVID-19

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, condemned anti-Asian hate crimes amid COVID-19 and issued the following statement:

“I join with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Congresswoman Judy Chu, and my colleagues in the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) to condemn the spike in anti-Asian hate crimes and violence over the past year.  As a member of CAPAC and a representative of a diverse congressional district with a large number of Asian Americans, I am deeply disturbed by these horrible crimes.

“Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, there have been more than 3,000 reported anti-Asian hate crimes across the United States.  In Los Angeles County alone, there were 245 incidents of hate against Asian Americans reported to Stop AAPI Hate from March 19 through October 28, 2020.  Of these incidents, 76 percent involved verbal harassment, and nearly 8 percent involved physical assaults. These statistics only confirm what we already know to be true, and it is unequivocally unacceptable.

“It is no accident that anti-Asian hate crimes escalated during the presidency of Donald Trump. From the onset of the pandemic, Trump spewed racist vitriol, spread anti-Asian sentiment, and targeted the Asian community without pause.  He refused to call the coronavirus by its name in an attempt to avoid accountability for the spread of the virus on his watch. He used names like ‘Chinese virus,’ ‘kung-flu,’ and ‘Wuhan virus,’ arming racists with hateful and painful language that has at times manifested itself in violent behavior against Asian Americans in the United States. Encouraged by Trump, anti-Asian sentiment reached a new level in our communities.

“While Donald Trump is no longer the president, the effects of his anti-Asian rhetoric, scapegoating, and xenophobia continue to incite harassment, discrimination, and violence against the Asian American community.

“Last September, I was proud to be a cosponsor of Congresswoman Grace Meng’s resolution to condemn anti-Asian sentiment and voted in favor of it on the House floor. I will continue to support legislation and initiatives to condemn bigotry, racism, and xenophobia of all kinds and hold those responsible for hate crimes and racist violence accountable for their despicable actions.”