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Biden calls hate crimes against Asian Americans "un-American"

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Since the start of the pandemic, Asian Americans across the nation have been the target of a sharp increase in harassment and hate crimes. President Biden issued a sharp condemnation of the attacks on Thursday during his first primetime address to the nation. Weijia Jiang reports.

Video Transcript

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- Since the start of the pandemic, Asian-Americans across the nation have been the target of a sharp increase in harassment and hate crimes. President Biden issued a sharp condemnation of the attacks on Thursday during his first prime time address to the nation. Weijia Jiang reports.

WEIJIA JIANG: President Biden's message about the attacks on Asian-Americans was clear.

JOE BIDEN: It's wrong, it's un-American, and it must stop.

WEIJIA JIANG: The advocacy group STOP AAPI hate has recorded more than 3,000 incidents since the start of the pandemic. On Thursday, 75-year-old Pak Ho died in Oakland, California, after he was knocked to the ground during a robbery. The city's police department said the suspect has a history of victimizing elderly Asian people.

JOE BIDEN: Vicious hate crimes against Asian-Americans, who've been attacked, harassed, blamed, and scapegoated.

WEIJIA JIANG: The president has also condemned the racist rhetoric used to describe the virus, a stark contrast from his predecessor.

DONALD TRUMP: Kung flu, yeah?

[CHEERING]

The China virus.

YUNHAN ZHANG: I do believe that kind of rhetoric's really helped fuel a lot more crimes and attacks.

WEIJIA JIANG: Yunhan Zhang experienced it himself--

- COVID-19 [BLEEP].

WEIJIA JIANG: --when a man shouting slurs pepper sprayed Zhang in November at his tea shop in Washington DC. Zhang is hopeful that President Biden's message will prevent others from getting hurt.

YUNHAN ZHANG: At least now, we have a first step. Then with more efforts, we can maybe make a real difference.

WEIJIA JIANG: Lawmakers have introduced new legislation to deal with this surge in crimes, including one measure that would direct the attorney general to create a new position at the Justice Department to handle all of the cases. Next week, there is a hearing scheduled in the House Judiciary Committee on all the violence and discrimination. For "CBS This Morning Saturday," Weijia Jiang, Washington DC.

- Nice to see that noted in the address this week. Because the number of times this has happened has just become outrageous. It's unacceptable.

- Yeah, it's harder and harder to watch. It really is.