HONOLULU (KHON2) — President Joe Biden met with leaders of the Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities on Thursday, Aug. 5.
The meeting was a follow-up to the one he and Vice President Kamala Harris convened after the Atlanta spa shootings in March 2021. Eight people were killed in the attack — six of them were Asian women.
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“Today, we honor everyone impacted by this tragedy and we think about all the pain inflicted by this pandemic with the rise of hate crimes. the rise of harassment bullying and other forms of bias against Asian Americans,” Biden said.
Congress passed the COVID Hate Crimes Act with overwhelming bipartisan support in the wake of the Atlanta shootings. Biden highlighted Asian Americans’ frontline role in the pandemic on Thursday.
“The AA (Asian American), NH (Native Hawaiian) and PI (Pacific Islander) communities — I stumble over myself here, but — has been on the front lines here from the beginning and is critical to helping us vaccinate Americans. Not just getting vaccinated, but to vaccinate Americans,” Biden said.
The President said work still needs to be done to support AA, NH and PI communities and touted his infrastructure bill, which is being debated in the Senate.
Biden said the bill would provide funding to help American families and strengthen racial equality.