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Photo: Ringo Chiu/AFP via Getty Images

More than 183 national organizations, led by Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community groups, have called on the White House to set aside $300 million for safety and relief programs.

Why it matters: The letter of demands was delivered to President Biden and Vice President Harris during their meeting with AAPI leaders in Atlanta on Friday, days after a white gunman in Atlanta killed eight people, including six Asian women.

Of note: Earlier Friday Biden in a statement called for the passage of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act. The measure would:

  • Expedite the federal government’s response to the rise of hate crimes exacerbated during the pandemic.
  • Support state and local governments to improve hate crimes reporting.
  • Ensure that hate crimes information is more accessible to Asian American communities.

Details of the AAPI request: $100 million to go to AAPI groups to develop programs that address discrimination against Asian people, with an additional $200 million requested in the next federal budget for "longer-term community safety, recovery and resilience," including:

  • Funds to help hate-crime victims report incidents in their language, receive mental health support, and navigate government resources.
  • Money to help organizations advocate for victims and survivors.
  • Resources for creating alternatives to law enforcement, such as violence prevention and crisis intervention.
  • Funds to help AAPI essential workers and low-wage workers "confronting the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and systemic racism," especially immigrants.
  • Establishing a White-House-level interagency task force to coordinate federal efforts with AAPI advocates.
  • Disaggregating resources to ensure they are appropriately directed to Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities and organizations.

What they're saying: "It is open season on Asian American women and girls, transgender and gender non-conforming, undocumented and immigrant communities," the letter to Biden begins.

  • "Our Asian elders are not safe walking on the streets for fear of getting sliced, punched, shoved, kicked and spit on. Our children endure bullying and are all but invisible in what they learn about in school. Our businesses are shuttered, our homes graffitied. We can’t wait any longer."
  • The community groups also single out President Trump for his "China virus" rhetoric. He "extended the wounds of the AAPI community and invited hate-filled white supremacists to pour salt on them," the letter states.

After the meeting, the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum released statements highlighting the "racialized misogyny" that targets Asian women.

  • "The prior presidential memo did nothing to prevent the murders that occurred this week, nor has it stemmed the flow of violence and hate to date," Executive Director Sung Yeon Choimorrow said, referring to Biden’s January directive for federal agencies to examine anti-Asian discrimination.
  • "What is clear is that we need an interagency, full government response that addresses the full spectrum of our community's needs ... That requires actual, long-term investment."

The big picture: The pandemic has led to a rise in anti-Asian incidents across the U.S.

  • Asian women are particularly vulnerable. They are 2.3 times more likely to report an incident than Asian men, according to Stop AAPI Hate.

Go deeper: Atlanta spa killings stir even more fear among Asian Americans

Editor's note: This story has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Workers' great awakening is about more than unemployment benefits

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Many politicians, pundits and business owners have said pandemic-era enhanced unemployment benefits are keeping would-be workers at home. But that's a much too simplistic explanation of today's employment situation.

The big picture: Many hard-hit sectors are rebounding faster than anecdotal evidence would suggest. And when jobs are hard to fill, a broader worker awakening over the past year is part of the reason.

New FTC chair already rocking boats

Photo: Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images

By naming tech critic Lina Khan to chair the Federal Trade Commission Tuesday, the White House made clear it is dead serious about antitrust enforcement and other measures to rein in Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon.

The intrigue: By naming Khan FTC chair just hours after the Senate confirmed her appointment as one of five commissioners at the agency, the White House took both the industry and many D.C. insiders by surprise.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
58 mins ago - Health

How prior coronavirus infections factor into herd immunity

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

People who were previously infected with the coronavirus have some level of protection against reinfection, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't get vaccinated.

Why it matters: If you're trying to calculate herd immunity, previous infections count for something. But protection from both vaccines and infections likely decreases over time, and getting at least one shot of a vaccine increases people with prior infections' level of protection against variants.

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