President Joe Biden signed into law on Thursday a bill that is aimed at countering a rise in anti-Asian hate crimes during the coronavirus pandemic, saying the legislation is part of the nation’s first step toward unity.
“I believe, with every fiber of my being, that there are simple, core values and beliefs that should bring us together as Americans. One of them is standing together against hate, against racism — an ugly poison that has long haunted and plagued our nation,” Biden told a group of advocates, agency officials and a bipartisan group of lawmakers inside the East Room of the White House. “Today I can say that because of all of you … you’ve taken that first step.”
In a sign of progress toward more normalcy since the start of the pandemic, Thursday’s bill signing marked the first time a large group publicly gathered inside the White House unmasked since the start of the Biden administration. / cnn