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Lawmakers warn of surge in violence against Asian Americans after Georgia shootings

A number of lawmakers on Wednesday warned of a surge in violence against Asian Americans after the shooting spree late Tuesday in Atlanta that left eight people dead, six of whom were Asian women.

Rep. Michelle Steel (R-Calif.) called the shooting “senseless and tragic” on Twitter on Wednesday, while fellow California Rep. Ted LieuTed W. LieuAsian American lawmakers say State's 'assignment restrictions' discriminate Democrats, activists blast Trump DOJ effort to get journalists' phone records Lawmakers praise Biden for expected recognition of Armenian Genocide MORE (D) accused the Trump administration of “inflaming hate against Asian Americans" amid the coronavirus pandemic, retweeting CBS News’s Weijia Jiang’s allegation that last year a White House official called COVID-19 the “Kung-Flu” to her.

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The House has a hearing scheduled Thursday on rising incidents of hate crimes and discrimination against Asian Americans.

Violent attacks against Asian American individuals increased last year by nearly 150 percent in major cities, according to NBC News, especially in Los Angeles and New York, which have large Asian populations.

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Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) tweeted that the shooting on Tuesday “reflects a sickening trend that must be stopped.” 

“America must unite to fight the stomach-turning surge in violence against the Asian-American community,” he shared. 

More than 3,000 hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have been reported since the beginning of the pandemic in the U.S., which former President TrumpDonald TrumpSunday shows preview: House GOP removes Cheney from leadership position; CDC issues new guidance for fully vaccinated Americans Navajo Nation president on Arizona's new voting restrictions: An 'assault' on our rights The Memo: Lawmakers on edge after Greene's spat with Ocasio-Cortez MORE continues to refer to as "the China virus."

Atlanta police on Wednesday told reporters that it was too early to determine if the shootings, which occurred at massage parlors in and near the city, should be considered a hate crime.

The suspected 21-year-old shooter, who is white, told authorities the crimes were not racially motivated but that he has a "sexual addition" and saw the massage parlors as a “temptation” that he wanted to “eliminate.”

Several lawmakers on Wednesday took to Twitter to address the shooting, with some using the hashtags #StopAsianHate to mourn the victims.

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President BidenJoe BidenWarren calls for US to support ceasefire between Israel and Hamas UN secretary general 'deeply disturbed' by Israeli strike on high rise that housed media outlets Nation's largest nurses union condemns new CDC guidance on masks MORE last week condemned “vicious hate crimes” against Asian American and Pacific Islander communities during a prime-time address marking the one-year anniversary of coronavirus restrictions.

"It's wrong. It's un-American. And it must stop," Biden said.