Vice President Kamala Harris and President Joe Biden have announced that they will meet with Asian-American leaders during their scheduled trip to Atlanta, Georgia this month. The duo said that they would postpone a previously scheduled political gathering to make adequate time for the meeting.
"Given the tragedy in Georgia on Tuesday night, President Biden and Vice President Harris will postpone the evening political event in Georgia for a future date," the White House wrote in an updated advisory.
"During their trip to Atlanta, they will instead meet with Asian-American leaders to discuss the ongoing attacks and threats against the community, meet with other local leaders, and also visit the Centers for Disease Control to receive an update from the team of health and medical experts helping lead the fight against the pandemic."
Harris and Biden have opted to meet with Asian-American leaders in Atlanta following shootings at Cherokee County spas that killed Delaina Yaun, Daoyou Feng, Xiaojie Tan, Paul Andre Michaels and four others. Elcias R. Hernandez-Ortiz and one other person were also injured. Six of the eight shooting victims were Asian women.
The shooter, Robert Aaron Long, was arrested and charged with murder not long thereafter. Making matters worse, it is believed that he may have planned "to carry out additional shootings" in Florida.
This mass shooting of Asian-Americans in Georgia comes amid a nationwide spike in violence against Asian-Americans. Over the last year, there were nearly 4,000 attacks against Asian-Americans. Moreover, a disproportionate amount of attacks were made against women.
"I have been speaking about the brutality against Asian Americans for the last couple [of] months and I think it is very, very troublesome," the President told reporters in the Oval Office.
"Knowing the increasing level of hate crime against our Asian American brothers and sisters, we also want to speak out in solidarity with them and acknowledge that none of us should ever be silent in the face of any form of hate," Harris added.
At this time, it is unclear where the meeting will take place and who will participate.
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