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Judy Chu blames Trump for rising anti-Asian hate after Atlanta shooting

Rep. Judy ChuJudy May ChuBipartisan lawmakers call for action on anti-hate crime measures Biden clean electricity standard faces high hurdles House Democrats introduce carbon pricing measure MORE (D-Calif.) on Wednesday blamed former President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden administration still seizing land near border despite plans to stop building wall: report Illinois House passes bill that would mandate Asian-American history lessons in schools Overnight Defense: Administration says 'low to moderate confidence' Russia behind Afghanistan troop bounties | 'Low to medium risk' of Russia invading Ukraine in next few weeks | Intelligence leaders face sharp questions during House worldwide threats he MORE for contributing to a rise in violence against Asian Americans such the previous day's shootings in Georgia.

"President Trump clearly stoked the flames of xenophobia against AAPIs with his rhetoric,” Chu said during a House Democratic Caucus press conference.

“The CDC and the World Health Organization said that we should all use the official term, COVID-19, in order to make sure that this disease is not associated with a particular geographical location or ethnicity due to the stigma it causes. And President Trump refused to acknowledge that," said Chu, who is the chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.

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“Instead [he] used these terms — China virus, Wuhan virus and even Kung Flu — and as a result the anti-Asian hate crimes and incidents increased exponentially,” she added. "He and his followers actually used those terms even more. And what we saw yesterday is the result of that."

Chu, who is the first Chinese-American woman to be elected to U.S. Congress, noted that Tuesday's alleged shooter, 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long, first targeted a business called "Young’s Asian Massage" in an Atlanta suburb.

“The fact that he went to that one, with that title gives you a clue to what he was thinking,” Chu said. “It’s clear that the individuals were targeted because they are amongst the most vulnerable in our country: immigrant, Asian women. The AAPI community has been living in fear of verbal and physical attacks and now we’re experiencing increasingly deadly tragedies of racism and violence.”

Chu called on Georgia officials to ensure that the families of the victims are supported and to provide community protection and victim support. Eight people, including six Asian women, were killed on Tuesday evening in connected shootings at three Atlanta-area businesses. 

The California representative also announced that the Congressional Asian-Pacific American Caucus met with the Department of Justice to determine actions to take against AAPI hate.

The caucus called for the passing of the "NO HATE Act" which would provide funding for local governments to address hate crimes and also called for March 26 to be designated as a "national day to speak out against AAPI hate."

The House Judiciary Committee also has plans for a hearing examining discrimination and violence against Asian Americans, set to take place on Thursday morning.