House Passes Meng Resolution to Denounce Anti-Asian Sentiment Related to the Coronavirus

Sep 17, 2020
Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – This afternoon, the House of Representatives passed a resolution sponsored by U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) that denounces the anti-Asian sentiment that has occurred since the outbreak of the coronavirus.
 
The measure, which Meng introduced in March, passed by a vote of 243 to 164.
 
“Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Asian Americans have been forced to endure demeaning and disgusting acts of bigotry and hate, consisting of everything from verbal assaults to physical attacks,” said Meng. “The House needed to take a strong and public stand against this appalling intolerance, discrimination, and violence that has taken place all across the country during this public health crisis, and today it did just that. The rise in anti-Asian rhetoric and the blaming of Asian Americans for the spread of the coronavirus has been shameful and reckless, particularly when it comes from our nation’s leaders such as President Trump, Minority Leader McCarthy and many others who have used terms like ‘Chinese virus,’ ‘Wuhan virus,’ and ‘Kung-flu,’ to stoke people’s fears of COVID-19, scapegoat Asian Americans, and fan the flames of hate. But these are more than just hateful and irresponsible words. This language has fueled the increase of threats and attacks against those of Asian descent, and many Asian Americans continue to live in fear.”
 
“When the first cases of coronavirus were reported in the U.S., I had advised the public about not singling out or stereotyping the Asian American community,” Meng added. “But unfortunately, those efforts have not stopped acts of ignorance and bigotry from rearing their ugly heads. It's time for this hysteria and discrimination to end, and I hope that with the passage of my resolution, our nation will work its way towards that goal. I thank and commend all who supported my resolution and joined me in sending a message to the American people that we reject this unacceptable racism, xenophobia, and violence. This measure is about condemning hate and violence and attacks on innocent individuals. We’re talking about people’s lives and their right to feel and be safe.”
 
Meng’s resolution has 157 cosponsors and has been endorsed by over 500 organizations and entities from across the country. It:
 
  • Calls on all public officials to condemn and denounce any and all anti-Asian sentiment in any form;
  • Recognizes that the health and safety of all Americans, no matter their background, must be of utmost priority;
  • Condemns all manifestations of expressions of racism, xenophobia, discrimination, anti-Asian sentiment, scapegoating, and ethnic or religious intolerance;
  • Calls on Federal law enforcement officials, working with State and local officials:
  • To expeditiously investigate and document all credible reports of hate crimes and incidents and threats against the Asian American community in the United States;
  • To collect data to document the rise of incidences of hate crimes due to COVID-19;
  • To hold the perpetrators of those crimes, incidents, or threats accountable and bring such perpetrators to justice;
  • Recommits United States leadership in building more inclusive, diverse, and tolerant societies:
  • To prioritize language access and inclusivity in communication practices; and
  • To combat misinformation and discrimination that put Asian Americans at risk.
 
A Senate version of Meng’s resolution is pending in the Senate. It was introduced in May by Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), and Mazie Hirono (D-HI). The resolutions in each chamber are independent of each other and do not need the signature of the President.
 
The text of Meng’s resolution and additional legislative details on the measure can be viewed here.