House condemns anti-Asian sentiment during pandemic

Capitol Hill

Indian American Democratic VP nominee Kamala Harris moves resolution in the Senate.

The US House of Representatives has passed a resolution condemning anti-Asian sentiment amid the coronavirus pandemic with Indian- American member Raja Krishnamoorthi calling it “deeply offensive.”

The final vote was 243-164, with 14 Republicans joining their Democratic colleagues in the vote Thursday.Though the resolution is nonbinding, House Democrats said they hoped it would show support for the Asian community and send a message that such bigotry would not be tolerated.

A similar resolution was introduced in the US Senate by Indian American Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris, CNN reported.

It was co-sponsored by Tammy Duckworth of Illinois and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, both of whom are Asian American.

Krishnamoorthi said Thursday on the House floor that as an Asian American man, “this is deeply personal and offensive to me.”

“When people, including those in the White House, refer to covid-19 as the Chinese virus or the Kung-flu, they encourage bigotry and discrimination against Asian Americans,” the Illinois Democrat was quoted as saying during debate on the resolution.

Republicans fired back, saying they condemn all forms of racism and anti-Asian sentiment, and they accused Democrats of using the resolution as a vehicle to attack President Donald Trump.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, called it a “ridiculous resolution” and a waste of time that could be spent passing coronavirus relief.

“Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Asian Americans have been forced to endure demeaning and disgusting acts of bigotry and hate, consisting of everything from verbal assaults to physical attacks,” Democratic Rep. Grace Meng of New York, who introduced the resolution, said in a statement after its passage.

“The House needed to take a strong and public stand against this appalling intolerance, discrimination, and violence that has taken place all across the country during this public health crisis, and today it did just that,” she added.

The resolution calls on “all public officials to condemn and denounce any and all anti-Asian sentiment in any form” and says that “use of anti-Asian terminology and rhetoric related to covid-19, such as the ‘Chinese Virus’, ‘Wuhan Virus’, and ‘Kung-flu’ have perpetuated anti-Asian stigma.”

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