Rep. Young Kim (R-CA) condemned former President Trump’s xenophobic references to COVID-19 during an interview that aired on CNN Sunday, days after the Republican lawmaker testified during a House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing addressing recent spikes of violence against Asian Americans after a mass shooter killed six women of Asian descent and two others in Atlanta-area spas.
Kim criticized Trump for repeatedly espousing “insensitive” references to COVID-19 during an interview that aired on CNN Sunday.
When asked about the former president using the term “Kung flu” to describe the coronavirus, Kim replied that Trump’s xenophobic remark was “insensitive.”
“That was a very insensitive remark to bring all these hateful comments and attack and call out the Asian American community as the community that is responsible for what we’re facing right now, especially through the pandemic,” Kim said. “This is completely wrong, insensitive.”
Pressed on whether Trump’s xenophobic rhetoric contributed to the recent spike in hate crimes against the Asian American community, Kim acknowledged that words issued by the country’s leaders have consequences.
“They need to be careful about what they say, because people really take that to heart,” Kim said.
Although Kim decried the hate and discrimination against the Asian American community during her testimony last week, she didn’t go as far as Democrats who tied Trump’s racist rhetoric to recent spikes of violence against Asian Americans during the hearing.
Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee and witnesses called out Trump and his allies for their incendiary rhetoric by arguing that the normalization of xenophobic language led to the surge of violent attacks against the Asian American community.
Watch Kim’s remarks below:
Rep. Michelle Steel and Rep. Young Kim, the first GOP Korean American congresswomen, discuss the impact of rising anti-Asian hate and harassment, their personal experiences and their hopes to diversify the Republican Party. @DanaBashCNN reports. https://t.co/mDxBkgLq73 #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/PjH2nyIBRS
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) March 21, 2021