The Biden Administration is expected to release a report on the origins of COVID-19 this week. AAPI leaders are concerned the report could lead to more anti-Asian violence throughout the country, CNN reports.
In May, President Biden ordered a 90-day investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 virus. The report will be an amalgamation of intelligence collected by U.S. intelligence agencies.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increase in anti-Asian hate incidents. Rhetoric from former President Trump and his political allies, including phrases like “Wuhan virus,” fueled the fire. AAPI leaders fear the upcoming report will do the same.
“We know that no matter what the report says our community will continue being targeted by those who see us as foreign,” Jo-Ann Yoo, executive director for the Asian American Federation, told CNN.
The Asian American Foundation (TAAF) hopes that public officials understand that people have continued to blame AAPI communities for the pandemic.
“Regardless of the findings of the White House report or any other, we cannot let the public health crisis continue to give way to a crisis of hate in AAPI communities,” Sonal Shah, President of TAAF said in a statement. “TAAF appreciates the Biden administration’s willingness to be as thoughtful as possible with the release of its forthcoming report, as it is incumbent on every public official at every level to understand that AAPI communities continue to be blamed and targeted for the pandemic.”
“TAAF refuses to stand by as our communities are consistently attacked at alarming rates, and so we are putting the full weight of our nascent organization behind providing meaningful solutions for combating hate.”
Nearly two dozen AAPI leaders wrote President Biden a letter asking him to increase efforts to support the AAPI community ahead of the report’s release.
TAAF stated in a press release that they have worked closely with the Biden administration and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (“CAPAC”) to raise awareness about the ways in which some people might use the report to further anti-Asian hate.
On Monday, TAAF launched an Anti-Hate Rapid Response Toolkit to provide public officials with culturally competent methods to address anti-Asian hate.
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