President Joe Biden on Friday urged Congress to “swiftly pass” hate crime legislation to address the rise in discrimination and violence against Asian Americans during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Covid-19 Hate Crimes Act aims to increase Justice Department oversight of coronavirus-related hate crimes, provide support for state and local law enforcement agencies, and make hate crime information more accessible to Asian American communities, CNBC reports.

The move comes days after a shooting spree in Georgia that killed eight people, including six Asian women.

A study by advocacy group Stop AAPI Hate released Tuesday recorded 3,795 reports of hate incidents against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders between March 19, 2020, and Feb. 28, 2021.

The incidents include verbal slurs, physical attacks, workplace discrimination and online harassment, among other forms of prejudice. Many of the incidents were reported retroactively from 2020.

 

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