"The COVID-19 pandemic, and the xenophobic rhetoric used by certain political leaders during this crisis, have led to a tragic spike in acts of anti-Asian bias, violence, and xenophobia," the White House said in a fact sheet.
While it did not cite Trump by name, Democrats, including President Biden, slammed Trump last year for regularly leading to COVID-19 as the "China virus" or "Chinese virus" because it started in Wuhan, China.
"Unfortunately, Donald Trump and his administration have failed to show almost any moral leadership when it comes to this issue," Biden said in April of last year. "Indeed, Trump’s attempts to deflect responsibility away from his own failures in addressing this pandemic by calling the coronavirus the ‘Chinese Virus’ during the White House press briefings stoked feelings of hatred and anger toward" Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
"The casual racism and regular xenophobia that we have seen from Trump and this administration is a national scourge," he said.
Trump has disregarded those concerns and has kept using the phrase, including since leaving office.
"I hope everyone remembers when they’re getting the COVID-19 (often referred to as the China Virus) Vaccine, that if I wasn’t President, you wouldn’t be getting that beautiful ‘shot’ for 5 years, at best, and probably wouldn’t be getting it at all," he said in a March statement.
The apparent condemnation of his predecessor comes as Biden is set to sign an Executive Order to form a White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders that he says will push an agenda to advance fairness, justice, and a chance for those communities.
"Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) communities together constitute the fastest growing ethnic group in the United States and make invaluable contributions to our society, our economy, and our culture," the White House wrote in its fact sheet. "Yet for far too long, systemic barriers to equity, justice, and opportunity have put the American dream out of reach for many AA and NHPI communities, and racism, nativism, and xenophobia against AA and NHPI communities continues to threaten safety and dignity of AA and NHPI families."
The White House also praised other actions taken by Biden, including signing into law a bill targeting COVID-19 hate crimes, which makes grants available to help local law enforcement agencies improve their investigation, identification and reporting of incidents driven by bias, which often go unreported.