Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) spoke out on Sunday to blame former President Donald Trump’s rhetoric on COVID-19 for an alleged spike in anti-Asian hate crimes.
“You were the first Asian-American woman elected to the Senate, a striking surge in anti-Asian hate crimes here in America. Why is this happening, and what should be done about it?” asked ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos.
“It’s happening because we didn’t have leadership at the top, starting from President Trump calling it the China virus and the Kung flu and all of that, which apparently it unleashed this kind of targeted hate crimes among Asian-Americans, and the increase is dramatic,” Hirono replied. “Just last week in New York, a person who was just walking down the street got knifed. He is in serious condition. Soon thereafter, four people walking in New York were knifed. One died. In California, you have incidents of 90-year-old people being knocked down, attacked. That person died.”
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“So I’m glad that Joe Biden, unlike Trump, has put this issue forward through his executive memorandum, which by the way contains many of the provisions that I put in a resolution that I tried to pass last year condemning targeted hate crimes against Asian-Americans,” she added. “The idea is for the attorney general, soon-to-be new attorney general, to work with community groups to prevent and prosecute these kinds of hate crimes. So it’s being recognized by President Biden and that, you know, leadership throughout our country should condemn in no uncertain terms, when you have Asian-Americans afraid to walk down the street for the fear of being knifed, this is an issue that needs to be dealt with.”
In this same interview, Hirono called for an independent investigation into the sexual harassment claims that were made against New York’s Democratic Governor George Stephanopoulos.
“The proper response for any of these kind of allegations of reprehensible, inexcusable behavior is to listen to the — mainly women who come forward … and then to do the appropriate investigation and corroboration of the allegations,” Hirono said. “In the case of Gov. Cuomo, it seems to me that the New York attorney general would be the independent entity to conduct such an investigation.”