Psaki: “No Doubt” Trump Administration Anti-Asian Rhetoric Elevated Threats
After a suspect was arrested for murder in shootings at multiple spas in Georgia, Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked about the Biden Administration’s position on the cause of racially-motivated violence. She responded, acknowledging the previous administration’s ethnocentric and xenophobic rhetoric.
In the clip below, you can see Psaki respond to a question about anti-Asian bias, violence, and the rhetoric that spurs it on, specifically addressing what Biden thinks is driving the increase in violence towards Asian Americans.
WH Press Sec. Jen Psaki says there's "no question" that the Trump admin's rhetoric "led to perceptions of the Asian American community that are inaccurate, unfair, has elevated threats …" pic.twitter.com/LBOwQEWxz2
— The Recount (@therecount) March 17, 2021
“I think there’s no question that some of the damaging rhetoric that 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, [and] has raised elevated threats against Asian Americans around the country.”
In the full press briefing, the topic arises about 40 minutes in. “On the Atlanta shootings, do you see some need for the White House and the administration to create perhaps the point person to address anti-Asian violence? Even though this shooting hasn’t necessarily been linked, it is a concern that the president has raised. Is there some move afoot like that?
Psaki confirmed to reporters at that time that President Biden is staying updated as local and Federal law enforcement investigate the motive behind the attacks, but affirmed that regardless of any determination made in this case, there has been an increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans, and the Biden Administration has several efforts in process to curb that and respond to it, as well as to gender-based crimes.