White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked at a press briefing on Wednesday about the deadly attack in Georgia on Tuesday. She replied that the Trump administration was in large part to blame for the attacks on Asian Americans.
"To broaden it out, why does the president think attacks against Asian Americans are increasing in this country? Why does he think that's happening?" Psaki was asked.
"Well," Psaki said, "he wanted to be very clear because there's an ongoing FBI investigation and he didn't want to attribute motive. There are law enforcement authorities who do that. And it's important to note when the investigation has concluded that or not, so that was a bar he was working to respect there.
"I think there's no question that some of the damaging rhetoric that we saw during the prior administration blaming, calling COVID the Wuhan virus, or other things, led to perceptions of the Asian community that are inaccurate, unfair, that have raised y'know threatening, that have elevated threats against Asian Americans, and we're seeing that around the country," Psaki said.
It is worth noting, however, that CNN had referred to COVID as the "Wuhan coronavirus" as well, and has not been blamed for violence against Asian Americans.
This was in January, 2020, before it was decided be mainstream media fiat that naming a virus after its place of origin was racist. Jen Psaki was formerly a contributor for CNN.
"That's why even before the events," Psaki continued, "the horrific events of last night, he felt it was important to raise this issue, elevate it, during his first prime time address, why he signed the executive order earlier in his presidency, and he will continue to look for ways to elevate and address this issue moving forward."
Eight people were killed in shootings at three Atlanta area spas Tuesday, and a 21-year-old man was taken into custody hours after the shootings at the massage parlors. Six of the women were of Asian descent.
In a police press conference on Wednesday, Cherokee County, Geor. Sheriff's Office Capt. Jay Baker said that the Atlanta shooting suspect claims his attacks were "not racially motivated."
Baker said that the suspect "apparently has an issue, what he considers a sex addiction… it's a temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate."
"The suspect did take responsibility for the shootings, he said that early on once we began the interviews with him," Baker said.
"He claims... that this was not racially motivated. He apparently has an issue, what he considers a sex addiction, and sees these locations as something that allows him to go to these places, and it's a temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate. Like we said, it's still early on, but these are the comments that he made," Baker said.
The shooting which occurred at Young's Asian Massage in Cherokee County left three people dead. Two were wounded and taken to the hospital where one died, according to the Cherokee County Sheriff's office.
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