President Joe Biden on Thursday announced plans to address spikes in violence against Asian-Americans, including reestablishing the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, increasing funding for AAPI survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, establishing a task force to address coronavirus-fueled xenophobia against Asian Americans and establishing a cross-agency Justice Department initiative to investigate anti-Asian violence.
"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," the White House said in a statement.
"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."
Biden's announcement comes two weeks after a gunman killed eight people, including six Asian women, at three Atlanta spas.
Biden's new efforts will be worked on by the Department of Justice and the FBI. The DOJ will initiate a new community outreach program while also making its website accessible in Chinese, Korean, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. The FBI will hold training for state and local law enforcement to combat anti-Asian bias.
Additionally, a new COVID-19 task force will be started to address inequities in (AAPI) communities having a higher rate of infections and deaths.
Biden's administration will receive $49.5 million from the American Rescue Plan for programs that focus specifically on combating sexual assault, domestic violence, and survivors of such traumas and are intended for "culturally specific" communities.
According to Axios, the White House will continue its efforts to stop anti-Asain bias by coordinating with federal agencies, "especially anti-Asian violence at the intersection of gender-based violence."
Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, praised the initiatives.
"Racism is never far below the surface in America, which is all too evident as the AAPI community has experienced escalating attacks and targeted violence during the pandemic," Hirono wrote on Twitter.
"We must confront the systems that allowed this hatred to fester and spread—exactly what @POTUS is doing."
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