Psaki blames ‘hate-filled rhetoric’ about COVID-19 origins for hate crimes targeting Asian Americans – Fox News

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White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Tuesday blamed “hate-filled rhetoric and language” around the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic as a driving force behind an uptick in hate crimes against Asian Americans.

Psaki’s remarks came in response to a reporter who questioned the White House’s response to a rise in crime against Asian Americans and recent statements from Olympic snowboarder Chloe Kim, who, according to the Associated Press, said she faced daily torment online and fears for the safety of her parents when she learns of assaults on Asians in America.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a daily press briefing at the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House Feb. 15, 2022 in Washington, D.C.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a daily press briefing at the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House Feb. 15, 2022 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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“The president has put into place a task force. He has hired a senior level staffer to be a representative and speak to these threats, the concerns and these fears felt by the Asian American community,” Psaki said. “There’s a number of steps we need to take, and continue to take, to address.”

“We’ve seen this rise unfortunately because of hate filled rhetoric and language around the origins of the pandemic,” she added. “That is something that Asian Americans across the country have been feeling.”

After dropping off flowers Jesus Estrella, left, and Shelby stand in support of the Asian and Hispanic community outside Young's Asian Massage Wednesday, March 17, 2021, in Acworth, Ga.

After dropping off flowers Jesus Estrella, left, and Shelby stand in support of the Asian and Hispanic community outside Young’s Asian Massage Wednesday, March 17, 2021, in Acworth, Ga. (Curtis Compton /Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

Affirming that President Biden is “absolutely committed” to addressing the situation, Psaki praised Kim, saying that she was “incredibly courageous and brave” to speak out about the “fear she had, the fear she has for her family members.”

Last February, Psaki said Biden has been “outspoken” and is “concerned” about the discrimination Asian Americans face. At that time, Psaki said the White House would support “additional action on the local level or the federal level” to deal with the rise in violence.

In addition, Psaki has blamed comments from President Trump and his administration for crimes targeting Asian Americans.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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“There’s no question that some of the damaging rhetoric we saw during the prior administration — calling COVID ‘the Wuhan virus’ or other things — led to perceptions of the Asian American community that are inaccurate, unfair, have elevated threats against Asian Americans,” Psaki said last March from the briefing room.

Since March 2020, there were more than 10,000 documented hate incidents against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, according to a report from Stop AAPI Hate, a national coalition that has placed great focus on the surge in violence against those communities.

Source URL: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/psaki-hateful-rhetoric-covid-19-origins-crime-asian-americans

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