On Thursday, Joe Biden held a White House reception for the Lunar New Year, marking the first time ever that the Chinese holiday was celebrated in the White House.
ABC News reports that Biden used his remarks to tie the celebration directly to a string of mass shootings in California over the last several days, one of which also occurred at a Lunar New Year celebration when an elderly Asian man gunned down 11 people, allegedly in an attempt to kill his ex-wife.
“It’s wonderful to see so many friends on this special holiday, even as we gather with such heavy hearts,” Biden said in opening his remarks. “Our prayers are with the people of Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay, and after yet another spree of gun violence in America.”
The aforementioned first shooting took place in Monterey Park, California, which has a large Asian population. The second shooting occurred two days later in Half Moon Bay, where 7 were killed.
Biden claimed that there was a brief discussion behind the scenes as to whether or not to proceed with the celebration in light of the shootings, during which Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-Calif.) allegedly convinced him to have the reception anyway.
She said ‘we have to move forward,'” Biden claimed. “Her message was, ‘Don’t give into fear and sorrow. Don’t do that. Stand in solidarity, in the spirit of toughness that this holiday is all about.'”
Biden further politicized the speech by boasting about the ethnic diversity of his administration, claiming that at least 13 percent of the White House staff are Asians or Pacific Islanders, and claiming that this particular representation is why he is “doing so well.”
Other speakers took time to make the reception about politics, and specifically to call for more gun control measures. Elaine Tso, CEO of Asian Services in Action, said in her remarks that “Lunar New Year is the most celebrated holiday by Asians across the world, and this year’s festivities have felt different.”
“I’m still processing the recent mass shootings,” she added. “So I will simply say that more needs to be done to address gun violence in America.”
Biden also peddled the false and debunked conspiracy theory about an alleged rise in hate crimes against Asians due to the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, saying that “for the progress, this community has experienced profound hate, pain and violence and loss with the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes.”
Of the few rare examples of prominent violent crimes against Asians in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, almost all of them involved culprits who were themselves members of another minority group, such as African-Americans. Nevertheless, far-left activists, Democrats, and the mainstream media tried to use such instances to promote a trend called #StopAsianHate, which ultimately failed to gain any traction.