Wyden, Merkley, Colleagues Introduce Resolution Condemning Anti-Asian Hatred, Discrimination Related to COVID-19 Pandemic

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley have introduced a resolution to condemn all forms of anti-Asian sentiment, racism, and discrimination, and call on federal officials, in collaboration with state and local agencies and Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community organizations to address the rise in COVID-19-related hate crimes. 

“The increase in hate crimes against the Asian American community in the United States shows once again how far our country has to go to defeat racism and white supremacy,” Wyden said. “Especially since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, anti-Asian attacks have been on the rise, fed in part by ugly rhetoric, pointed insinuations and slurs from politicians trying to win political points. Congress must recognize these atrocities and fight intolerance in our own halls and around the nation.”

“The shootings we saw last week in Atlanta were a shattering attack, and sadly, we know that they were not the first and will not be the last attack sparked by dangerous anti-Asian bias,” Merkley said. “We’ve seen a sharp rise in hate crimes against the AAPI community here in the U.S. and it’s got to end. It’s incumbent on all of us to speak out against this dangerous hatred in our communities and confront bigotry and racism in our country.” 

The resolution was introduced in the wake of the Atlanta shooting—where eight people were killed, including six women of Asian descent, and following a new report that AAPIs were targeted in nearly 3,800 hate incidents across the country since last March. A similar resolution was introduced in the House of Representatives by Representative Grace Meng (D-N.Y.) last month and now has 145 cosponsors. 

The full resolution text is available here.

The resolution was introduced by Senators Mazie Hirono and Tammy Duckworth, and along with Wyden and Merkley, the resolution is cosponsored by Senators Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., Michael Bennet, D-Colo., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Cory Booker, D-N.J., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., Ben Cardin, D-Md., Tom Carper, D-Del., Bob Casey, D-Pa., Chris Coons, D-Del., Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Tim Kaine, D-Va., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Ed Markey, D-Mass., Bob Menendez, D-N.J., Chris Murphy, D-Conn., Patty Murray, D-Wash., Alex Padilla, D-Calif., Jack Reed, D-R.I., Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., Tina Smith, D-Minn., Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., Mark Warner, D-Va., Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.