WASHINGTON—Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has escalated the number and severity of hate motivated attacks against Asian Americans. Last night, three businesses in Georgia were attacked by an assailant resulting in the murder of eight, including six Asian American women.

Juliet K. Choi, president and CEO of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) released the following statement:

“APIAHF extends our condolences to the families harmed by last night’s horrific murders, and to the families that have been affected by anti-Asian hate over the course of the pandemic.

With over 3,800 reported incidents of hate against Asian Americans since last March, we hope that there will be greater cooperation and collaboration between law enforcement agencies and our community to investigate these attacks as hate crimes and to address the disturbing trend of violence.

We are encouraged by the recent actions taken by the Biden-Harris administration to condemn and combat racism, xenophobia and intolerance against our community, and by the U.S. Department of Justice to address this issue as “hate based extremism” and the recognition that holding listening sessions with our community matters. We are also grateful for our Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander members of Congress for leading congressional action to review and investigate this violence.

Racism is a public health crisis and we are inspired by our Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander community, racial justice and civil rights partners, and allies who are speaking out and standing in solidarity. We must, and will, continue to stand in allyship to combat this pandemic of race based hate and violence in order to advance racial healing to ensure all communities have opportunities to reach their full potential, safely and without fear.”

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The Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) influences policy, mobilizes communities and strengthens programs and organizations to improve the health of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.