Biden, Trump Campaigns Discuss Racism Directed At Asian Americans Over COVID-19

Published: Sunday, June 28, 2020 - 2:39pm

Both presidential campaigns spoke to leaders in the Asian American Pacific Islander community during the fourth APIAVote Town Hall event Saturday. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are among the fastest growing groups of voters in the country. 

Former Vice President Joe Biden appeared remotely via video-chat. He addressed incidents of racism that Asian Americans have faced in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. 

“We’ve all heard about the horrible acts against Asian Ameicans blamed for the Coronavirus," Biden said. "Harassment. Violence. Conspiracy Theories. Blaming Asian Americans for COVID. Dangerous smears, including by Donald Trump."

President Trump didn’t appear. Instead, he sent the former governor of Guam, Eddie Baza Calvo, who defended the president’s use of the racist term “Kung Flu.”

“Take a look at history," Baza Calvo said. "That Kung Flu comment even came from the Obama administration. I’m here as an Asian American and Pacific Islander to represent the Trump campaign.”

During the Obama administration, two Veterans Affairs hospitals did use “Kung Flu” in a flu-shot awareness campaign, but there is no record of the former president ever using the term.

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