Anti-Asian racism
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New York Mayor Eric Adams. Photo: TNS

New York City mayor wants Biden to apologise to US ‘Chinese community’ for Trump remarks

  • New York’s City’s new mayor wants Biden White House apology for Trump’s Covid rhetoric
  • Anti-Asian hate crimes in the United States rose dramatically during Trump’s presidency

New York City Mayor Eric Adams called on the White House to make a public apology to Asian-Americans for calling Covid the “China virus” and other remarks that former president Donald Trump made during the onset of the pandemic.

“The president right now should stand up and say, on behalf of the American people, ‘We apologise to the Chinese community’,’” Adams said during a press conference in Lower Manhattan on Tuesday. “I’m hoping he’ll say to the Chinese residents of this country that we apologise for what was said and what was done. We’ve turned people against the Chinese community during Covid.”

Adams was speaking at a press conference announcing a series of initiatives to help small businesses in Chinatown and other parts of the city. He said he would send a formal letter to Biden on Tuesday and that “we will never allow the Oval Office to be used to attack people in our country”.

Eric Adams as he is sworn-in as New York City mayor in Times Square on New Year’s Day right after midnight in New York. Photo: EPA

The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Democrats have laid blame on Trump for encouraging anti-Asian rhetoric by regularly talking about the Chinese origin of Covid, labelling the disease “kung flu” at a campaign rally.

Biden signs Asian-American hate crimes bill into law

Biden referred to Trump’s language around China and the virus as “casual racism” during his presidential campaign. In May, he signed legislation to combat a rise in anti-Asian hate crimes months after a mass shooting in Georgia left eight people dead, six of whom were women of Asian descent.

Anti-Asian hate crime reported to police in the nation’s largest cities rose 189 per cent in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same period a year prior, according to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University San Bernardino. In New York, they rose 262 per cent during that period.