WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) joined their Senate colleagues in sending a letter to President Trump, raising concerns about the increased harassment and violence against members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is imperative that we make clear that the enemy in our midst is not the Asian or Asian-American community, but rather a virus that endangers us all,” wrote the Senators. “We must counter the mistaken belief that there is any link between the virus and a person’s ethnicity. Such misconceptions have contributed to a surge of hate crimes against AAPI communities, acting as a pretext for individuals who exploited this crisis as an opportunity to harm people whose racial and ethnic backgrounds differ from their own.”
Read the Senators’ full letter here.
BACKGROUND: Last week, Senators Rosen and Cortez Masto joined a resolution condemning discrimination against Asian-Americans and Asian immigrants caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. Recent reports show anti-Asian sentiment has increased since the COVID-19 crisis began. According to an FBI intelligence report, hate crimes against Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities are likely to surge as COVID-19 continues to spread.