Joe Biden accused President Trump of fanning “the flames of hate” during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The pandemic has unleashed familiar forces of hate, fear and xenophobia that he always flames … that have always existed in this society,” Biden said in a speech on Monday, The Hill reported. “But this president brought it with him, has brought with it a new rash of racial messages, verbal and physical attacks and other acts of hate, some subtle, some overt, against the Asian American and Pacific Islanders.”
“The AAPI community deserves better than a president who never ever misses an opportunity to stoke innuendo and fan the flames of hate,” Biden said in a virtual address to the Asian American and Pacific Islanders Victory Fund.
The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee ripped Trump in the speech, interrupted several times by the honking of geese on his property, for being slow to respond to the coronavirus outbreak, saying he has only provided “denials, delays and distractions, many of which were nakedly xenophobic.”
Trump has been praised for instituting travel restrictions in January against China where the initial cases were reported.
But Democrats accused the president of encouraging racism against Asian Americans when he was referring to the pandemic as the “Wuhan virus” and insisting China be held responsible for the devastation it has caused.
Biden also raised an exchange between Trump and an Asian American reporter during a White House briefing last week as evidence of the president’s racist views.
“We deserve better than a president who aggressively and childishly insults Asian American reporter. Think of that, the president of the U.S. for the whole world to see, insults an Asian American reporter in the Rose Garden for doing her job and asking a direct question. You deserve a partner and a friend in the White House,” Biden said.
During the news conference Weijia Jiang, a CBS News reporter who was born in China, asked Trump why he is touting the administration’s coronavirus testing when Americans are dying of the virus.
“They’re losing their lives everywhere in the world,” Trump responded. “And maybe that’s a question you should ask China. Don’t ask me, ask China that question, OK?”
Joe Biden and President TrumpAP (2)
She asked the president if he was referring to her specifically.
“I am not saying it specifically to anybody,” Trump said. “I am saying it to anybody who would ask a nasty question like that.”