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President Biden. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden on Friday called the recent spate of antisemitic attacks in the United States "despicable, unconscionable, un-American."

What he's saying: "We have seen a brick thrown through [the] window of a Jewish-owned business in Manhattan, a swastika carved in the door of a synagogue in Salt Lake City, families threatened outside a restaurant in Los Angeles, and museums in Florida and Alaska, dedicated to celebrating Jewish life and culture and remembering the Holocaust, vandalized with anti-Jewish messages," Biden said.

  • "These attacks are despicable, unconscionable, un-American, and they must stop," he said, reiterating the Justice Department's commitment to "deploying all of the tools at its disposal to combat hate crimes."
  • "May is Jewish American Heritage Month, when we honor Jewish Americans who have inextricably woven their experience and their accomplishments into the fabric of our national identity," he said.
  • "I will not allow our fellow Americans to be intimidated or attacked because of who they are or the faith they practice," he added, denouncing "hatred, dangerous lies, and conspiracy theories."

The big picture: Rights groups across the U.S. and Europe have documented a rise in antisemitic attacks following this month's fighting between Israel's military and Hamas in Gaza.

  • Biden's statement Friday echoed comments he made earlier this week.
  • Jewish faith leaders and groups organized a virtual rally on Thursday to denounce the attacks. Though lawmakers, celebrities and others participated in the event, neither Biden or Vice President Harris took part, which privately "frustrated" some Jewish leaders, according to Time.

Go deeper: Latest Gaza conflict fuels anti-Semitism, Islamophobia across U.S., Europe

Go deeper

Hate crimes in Colorado rise to record levels

Expand chart
Data: Federal Bureau of Investigation; Note: Six incidents in 2019 and two in 2020 were not categorized; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

A new FBI report shows hate crimes in Colorado rose to their highest level in at least 30 years, with attacks on people for their race, ethnicity and ancestry driving much of the escalation.

The 283 incidents reported in 2020 represent the third consecutive year with increased rates and the sixth hike in 10 years, an Axios Denver data analysis finds.

Updated 2 hours ago - Health

NYC firefighters union urges members to defy mayor's vaccine mandate

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

The president of New York City's firefighters union told reporters Wednesday that he's advised unvaccinated members to ignore Mayor Bill de Blasio's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for city workers, per Reuters.

Why it matters: Under de Blasio's order that's due to take effect Friday, unvaccinated city employees would be placed on unpaid leave. But Uniformed Firefighters Association head Andrew Ansbro said he told members that "if they choose to remain unvaccinated, they must still report for duty," according to Reuters.

3 hours ago - Health

Study: Common antidepressant guards against COVID hospitalization

A COVID-19 intensive Care Unit in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil on May 27, 2021. Photo: Fabio Teixeira/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The readily available antidepressant fluvoxamine significantly reduced COVID-related hospitalizations, according to a large study published Wednesday.

Why it matters: The clinical trial suggests that a cheap, readily available drug could dramatically reduce serious illness and death when prescribed early.

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