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White House announces new measures to counter anti-Asian violence

White House announces new measures to counter anti-Asian violence

US President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the White House campus in Washington on Mar 29, 2021. (Photo: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

WASHINGTON: The Biden administration on Tuesday (Mar 30) announced a set of measures responding to rising anti-Asian violence, including deploying US$49.5 million from COVID-19 relief funds for US community programs that help victims.

White House officials said in a statement that the Department of Justice is also focusing on a rising number of hate crimes targeting Asian Americans.

"We can’t be silent in the face of rising violence against Asian Americans," Biden wrote on Twitter. "These attacks are wrong, un-American, and must stop."

The measures come after a shooting in Atlanta earlier this month left eight people dead, six of them Asian-American women.

The shooting stoked fears among those in the Asian-American Pacific Islander community, which has reported a spike in hate crimes since March 2020 when then-President Donald Trump began referring to the novel coronavirus as the "China virus".

READ: Video shows elderly Asian-American woman assaulted on New York street

Biden's new steps include US$49.5 million of pandemic relief funds for "community based, culturally specific services and programs for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault" as well as a new task force dedicated to countering xenophobia against Asians in healthcare.

The Justice Department is also planning new efforts to enforce hate crime laws and report data on racial crimes, the statement said.

Source: Reuters/ec

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