President Joe Biden denounced the “vicious hate crimes” targeting Asian Americans during a primetime address on Thursday evening.
“Too often we’ve turned against one another. A mask, the easiest thing to do to save lives, sometimes it divides us. States pitted against one another instead of working with each other. Vicious hate crimes against Asian Americans, who have been attacked, harassed, blamed and scapegoated,” Biden said. “At this very moment, so many of them are fellow Americans. They’re on the frontlines of this pandemic trying to save lives, and still they are forced to live in fear for their lives just walking down streets in America. It’s wrong. It’s un-American. And it must stop.”
Since the start of the pandemic, more than 3,000 incidents have been reported to Stop AAPI Hate, a reporting center that tracks hate, violence, harassment and discrimination targeting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
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Later in his address, Biden said he will direct states to make vaccines available to all adults no later than May 1, adding that there was a “good chance” life in the U.S. could return “closer to normal” by July 4.
“That doesn’t mean large events with lots of people together, but it does mean small groups will be able to get together. After this long hard year, that will make this Independence Day something truly special, where we not only mark our independence as a nation, but we begin to mark our independence from this virus,” Biden said. “But to get there, we can’t let our guard down. This fight is far from over.”