President Joe Biden made make several public appearances in the Atlanta area on Friday amid a trip that was originally scheduled as part of his administration's tour to tout the passage of a $1.9 trillion stimulus package.
After visiting the CDC on Saturday,
Biden met with AAPI community leaders just days after a gunman killed eight people — including six Asian women — at three separate Atlanta-area spas on Tuesday evening. Earlier this week, Biden ordered flags lowered at the White House to mourn the lives lost in the shootings, and denounced the rising instances of hate crimes against Asian Americans across the country amid the pandemic.
“The recent attacks against the community are un-American. They must stop,” Biden said in a tweet earlier this week.
Biden reiterated his support for the Asian American community amid rising violence.
"Whatever the motivation, we know this: Too many Asian Americans have been walking up and down the streets and worrying, waking up each morning the past year feeling their safety and the safety of their loved ones are at stake," Biden said.
Biden’s visit to the CDC also comes as the agency released new guidance Friday that says students can safely sit three feet apart in schools as long as universal masking is implemented. Previous guidance said students should be spaced six feet apart, causing some schools to rotate attendance among students.
The new guidance should help the Biden administration of accomplishing its goal of opening schools to in-person learning by the end of the 2020-2021 school year.
Biden’s six-state “Help is Here” tour brought him to the Philadelphia suburbs earlier this week, and will take him to Nevada, New Mexico and New Hampshire later this month.
Biden’s tour is an about-face from his time in the Obama administration when then-President Barack Obama chose not to promote a similar stimulus package in the wake of the housing market collapse. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Democrats now see that as a “political misstep,” as it left the stimulus open to attacks from Republicans.