Asians COVID-19 hate crimes bill in May

Coming in a few weeks at the House of Representatives full house vote. The bill still needs to pass the House to make it to President Joe Biden’s desk. It was going to be debated in the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, but its chairman, Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., postponed that discussion until the Senate voted, meaning the legislation is unlikely to go to a full House vote for at least a few weeks. 

After last month’s mass shooting in Georgia that killed eight people – six of whom were women of Asian descent – lawmakers in both chambers of Congress pushed to expedite the legislation and called for quick action. The bill just passed the US Senate with only One Republican Senator opposing it on a vote of 94-1. Rep. Grace Meng, D-N.Y., a co-author of the legislation, said at a rally with Schumer on Monday that “we are finally taking action in Congress” after a year of discrimination that has made many in the AAPI community afraid to use public transit or even leave their homes.

This bill which was sponsored by Senator Mazie Hirono, Democrat of Hawaii, would establish a position at the Justice Department to expedite the agency’s review of hate crimes and expand the channels to report them. It would also encourage the creation of state-run hate crime hotlines, provide grant money to law enforcement agencies that train their officers to identify hate crimes and introduce a series of public education campaigns around bias against people of Asian descent.

The bill would also issue guidance to local law enforcement officials on making hate crime reporting more efficient through online reporting, which would be available in multiple languages. Additionally, the bill would expand “public education campaigns aimed at raising awareness of hate crimes and reaching victims.”

Another key aspect of the bill is its plan to issue guidance that would be aimed at raising awareness of hate crimes during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the amended bill. Former President Donald Trump regularly called COVID-19 “the China virus” while crimes against Asian Americans surged since the dawn of the pandemic.

The bill is the most substantive congressional response to what has been an alarming rise in racist sentiment against Asian Americans, fueled in part by derogatory language about the virus’ origins in China. Donald Trump, while president, played into that narrative with derisive nicknames for the virus. The moment harks back to earlier eras of racism against Chinese Americans, Japanese Americans, and others of Asian heritage in the U.S. 

The continuous statements made by the Former President of the China virus as it relates to Asian Americans simply ignited the flames throughout the year of chaos.

According to Stop AAPI Hate, an organization that tracks Asian American discrimination, there were 103 incidents in Texas from March 19, 2020, to Feb. 28, 2021, which were among nearly 3,800 nationwide.

Even till this day with the onset of the recent gun violence and the covid-19 pandemic, the Asian hate crimes still prevails in different cities. Thankfully we now have some roving community ambassadors in the different neighborhoods. Yet we cannot wait until the US House of Representatives finally makes a full house vote of the bill in the coming weeks. Hopefully by June, the President signs this bill into law.

The Effective Execution of Making the Right Decisions Today

51MQqw2ffHL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_ The Effective Executive  I reference this book amidst starting this blog. As of this writing, Governor Gavin Newsom of California has now place a shelter in place order for the entire state of California. Gavin whom I personally remember back then as the first of Mayor of San Francisco who issued the first licenses in San Francisco for gay marriages. He was the first public official that took this drastic move and also the first hated one then. Decades after now recently elected as Governor of California, the prime example as exampled in this book, The Effective Executive. Added to this a week ago when San Francisco’s Mayor London Breed decisive action to enact this Shelter in place order first in the city of San Francisco.

Here lies examples of taking the bold steps, listening to the experts, standing at the models and numbers and artificial intelligence data scenarios.  Reading the online article from The Atlantic on March 3, 2020, The Coronavirus Is No 1918 Pandemic  

It’s been ages I left and told myself to stay away from being involved in public services but at times I can’t help it. I’m amaze how the differences between the global response to the Great Flu Pandemic and today’s COVID-19 outbreak could not be more striking. This article I quote, ” That year, as pandemic influenza ravaged communities as diverse as California and Kolkata, no one knew what was killing them. Theories abounded. Some suggested it was a misalignment of the planets. (That’s what gave us the name influenza, from the Italian word for “influence.”) Others believed the cause was tainted Russian oats, or volcanic eruptions. Microbiologists focused on a bacterium they had discovered decades earlier in the lungs of influenza victims, and called it Bacillus influenza. But they had merely recognized a bacterium that invades lungs already weakened from influenza. Not until 1933 did two British scientists demonstrate that the cause must be a new class of disease, which today we call viruses. Finally, in 1940, the newly invented electron microscope took a picture of the influenza virus, and for the first time in history we could not only name, but also see, the culprit”.

This is why I started commending the efforts of the Governor and Mayor based on this history notwithstanding waiting for federal government’s leadership.  We also have another class of drugs available today: antivirals, which directly target the virus responsible for a disease. However coronavirus still has no vaccine or anti-viral as of today with challenges on testing and protective gears. The FDA announced today drugs on clinical trials such as those use for Malaria but then again time is the essence and this pandemic infection and death toll numbers go up daily and hours.

Today we understand the importance of infection control and the need to isolate patients to prevent cross contamination. This is why such drastic measures on social distancing and shelter in place has been pioneered in the bay area and now California. In this onset of no anti-viral and vaccine, all you can do is what everyone uses” flattened the curve”. In common lay men term mainly to stop the spread and infection by isolating and prevent the influx of patients to hospitals resulting to no beds to treat patients.

As I write this blog at this moment and time all we can do better as we wait for the epidemic to abate, social distancing, hand-washing, covering our mouths when we cough, and staying home when we are sick are all important, low-tech measures that we can take to reduce the chances of spreading the infection—and the fear that increases its damage.

Finally, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. A cure, vaccine or anti-viral will come and most likely sooner due to our great scientist and technological advancement. At times, spirituality and hope has to be between us as we come together as a nation.

God Bless.