Meghan McCain, host of ‘The View’ and daughter of late senator John McCain, has apologised after the ‘Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’ host criticised her over comments about rhetoric tying the coronavirus outbreak to China.
After a deadly shooting in Atlanta on March 16 killed eight people at three separate massage parlors, there has been a growing push to declare the violence as a hate crime against Asian-Americans. Six of the victims were of Asian-American descent.
During his show on Sunday, John Oliver examined the rise in anti-Asian racism in the U.S. that may have contributed to last Tuesday’s mass shooting.
Oliver slammed then-President Donald Trump’s use of terms such as ‘China virus’, ‘Wuhan Virus’ and ‘kung flu’ when referring to Covid-19 during his final year in office and 2020 election campaign on the rise in attacks on Asian-Americans.
Meghan McCain (pictured), host of ‘The View’ and daughter of late senator John McCain, has apologised after the ‘Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’ host criticised her over comments about rhetoric tying the coronavirus outbreak to China
‘I condemn the reprehensible violence and vitriol that has been targeted towards the Asian-American community,’ McCain tweeted after John Oliver criticized her on his Sunday show. ‘There is no doubt Donald Trump’s racist rhetoric fueled many of these attacks and I apologize for any past comments that aided that agenda.’
Crimes against Asian Americans have risen in in recent months, with president Joe Biden and other politicians speaking publicly about the need to address the issue.
In the last year alone, there were nearly 3,800 incidents against Asian Americans, according the group Stop AAPI Hate, and 68 per cent of those were against women.
‘Our long, ugly history of anti-Asian racism and the fact that it often peaks during times of crisis is the exact reason why, just last year, many were loudly warning that Trump calling COVID names like the ‘China virus’ was likely to lead to a rise in violence against people of Asian descent,’ Oliver said.
‘An argument that not everyone, at the time, seemed to find convincing.’
Oliver then played a clip of McCain – almost a year to the day of his show being broadcast – dismissing Trump’s critics at the time.
‘I think that the left wants to focus on PC labeling of this virus. This is a great way to get Trump reelected,’ McCain said in the clip.
‘I don’t have a problem with people calling it whatever they want. It’s a deadly virus that did originate in Wuhan. I don’t have a problem with it.’
Commenting on the clip, an exasperated Oliver said: ‘Oh good! Meghan McCain doesn’t have a problem with it! Listen not to the scores of Asian-Americans telling everyone that the term is dangerous and offensive.
‘Instead, gather around and take the word of a wealthy White woman who’s dressed like she’s about to lay off 47 people over Zoom.’
John Oliver (pictured) slammed then-President Donald Trump’s use of terms such as ‘China virus’, ‘Wuhan Virus’ and ‘kung flu’ when referring to Covid-19 during his final year in office and 2020 election campaign on the rise in attacks on Asian-Americans
Oliver noted that on March 17, McCain posted a tweet with the words ‘Stop Asian Hate’ captioned with three broken heart emojis, showing the tweet on-screen.
The host called it a ‘fine statement,’ but added ‘there has to be an understanding that saying, ‘I don’t have a problem with calling it the China virus’ is very much giving space for that hate to grow.’
Following Oliver’s Sunday night show, McCain took to twitter again to apologise, but did not directly his criticism.
‘I condemn the reprehensible violence and vitriol that has been targeted towards the Asian-American community,’ she tweeted.
‘There is no doubt Donald Trump’s racist rhetoric fueled many of these attacks and I apologize for any past comments that aided that agenda.’
In remarks delivered after meeting with members of the Asian-American community in Atlanta on Friday, President Joe Biden also went after the former president – though not by name.
Crime scene tape is seen outside Aromatherapy Spa after shootings at a massage parlor and two day spas in the Atlanta area left eight dead – six of whom were Asian-American
President Joe Biden speaks in Atlanta, Georgia Friday after a meeting with Asian-American community members in the wake of Tuesday’s shooting in the city that targeted Asian spas
‘It’s the coronavirus. Full stop,’ Biden said, going after Trump for using a racist nickname to label the pandemic after his meeting with Asian-American community leaders in the wake of the March 16 spa shootings.
Vice President Kamala Harris, who introduced Biden, also alluded to the ex-president blasting ‘people with the biggest bully pulpits’ who are ‘spreading this kind of hate.’
Biden and Harris had originally planned to be in Atlanta for a ‘car rally’ – a socially distant political event marking the passage of the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill.
But last Tuesday’s shootings that left six Asian-American women dead – eight total – turned the trip into a visit to the CDC and an hours-long meeting with members of the community.
Biden gave his remarks at Emory University and was over an hour late by the time they began.
He called anecdotes he heard during the closed-door meeting with Asian-American stakeholders ‘heartwrenching.’
President Joe Biden tweeted the phrase he used in his speech Friday while visiting Atlanta, Georgia after meeting members of the Asian-American community
Former President Donald Trump repeatedly called COVID-19 the ‘China virus,’ using the term, again, in a statement sent out from his office last week
Biden spoke about racism at the top of his speech, calling it ‘the ugly poison that has long haunted and plagued our nation.’
‘Each one of them we mourn,’ he said of the victims, saying their families were left with ‘broken hearts and unanswered questions.’
On Wednesday, Biden said he was making ‘no connection’ between the Atlanta massage parlor shooter and the race of his victims before the investigation is complete, but continued to call the uptick in hate crimes against Asians ‘very troubling.’
Biden made the comments in the Oval Office Wednesday before a virtual meeting with Ireland’s Taoiseach Micheal Martin, telling reporters he had spoken with Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray.
‘I know that Asian-Americans are very, very concerned because, as you know, I was speaking about the brutality against Asian-American for the last couple months,’ Biden said. ‘And I think it is very, very troubling.’
‘But I’m making no connection at this moment. The motivation of the killer. I’m waiting for an answer, as the investigation proceeds, from the FBI and from the Justice Department,’ the president continued. ‘I’ll have more to say when the investigation has completed.’
Robert Aaron Long, 21, told police that he has a sex addiction and viewed the parlors as an ‘outlet’ and ‘temptation’ that he wanted to remove. He confessed to the killings after police rammed his car off the road at 8pm on Tuesday night. He was on his way to Florida to carry out more attacks
People with the medical examiner’s office wheel out a body on a stretcher from the Gold Spa massage parlor where three people were shot and killed on Tuesday in Atlanta, Georgia
Three shootings at spas and massage parlors around Atlanta left eight people dead and police on the hunt for those responsible
A white man, 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long, is accused of killing eight people in three locations Tuesday night in Atlanta.
Six of the people were Asian and seven were women.
Long allegedly shot give people at Youngs Asian Massage Parlor, which is north of the city. Two people died at the scene, while three were taken to the hospital where two later succumbed to their injuries.
An hour later, three women were found dead at Gold Spa.
Another woman was found dead at Aromatherapy Spa.
The shooter told police that it was a ‘sex addiction’ and not racist motivations that compelled him to kill.
Police have stressed they haven’t come to a conclusion about the motivations of the killer.
‘The suspect did take responsibility for the shootings,’ Captain Jay Baker of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office said, according to the Associated Press. ‘This is still early, but he does claim it was not racially motivated.’
‘He apparently has an issue, what he considers a sex addiction, and sees these locations as … a temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate,’ Baker said.